Thursday, 28 June 2007

Auschwitz - 1270 to the Present

Deborah Dwork & Robert Jan van Pelt, "Auschwitz - 1270 to the Present", WW Norton, London & New York, 1996

I borrowed this book from the library sometime in the past six months, and it made such a lasting impression on me that I realised I needed to dig a lot deeper into this whole mystifying experience. Never for one instant for ghoulish or glorifying reasons, rather a confused curiosity at such a bleak period of human history. [Postscript: My second-hand copy of this book arrived Monday 2nd July - really great condition.] At least now I can underline and scribble pencil notes all through it as i do a bit more research into all of this... for some strange reason, they don't like you leaving big messy pencilled-in marks in their books!

Comes with many very disturbing photos, as well as authentic Nazi architect's plans and drawings.

A fantastic tribute to the millions who died needlessly.

"Founded by Germans in 1270 and sold to Polish King Casimir IV in 1457, the small provincial town of Auschwitz (Oswiecim in Polish) became a pawn in power struggles between Poland, Germany, Bohemia and Hungary. When Hitler annexed this border town to the Reich in 1939 as German troops smashed Poland, the Nazis celebrated their push to reclaim the "German East," a mythologized, racially pure domain once contested by medieval knights of the Teutonic Order, who ruled Prussia in the 13th century after virtually exterminating the native population and repopulating the town with Germans. The concentration camp established in Auschwitz's suburbs in 1940-designed as a transit camp for Poles being shipped west as slave laborers-was soon transformed into an extermination camp for killing Jews. Using 224 photographs and architectural plans, as well as oral histories of survivors, this careful, detached study traces the camp's evolution into a site where more than one million people were killed and through January 1945, when the remaining 60,000 prisoners underwent a forced march into Germany."

~ Check my Online Book Catalogue here ~

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