I wanted to read Hanns And Rudolf for a while, and I wasn’t disappointed. Soon to be a movie, Hanns And Rudolf was a nonfiction tale that focused on two men, Rudolf who became the Kommandant of Auschwitz, and Hanns the German Jew who tirelessly worked to track him down and make him accountable for his war crimes after WWII. The book was perfectly balanced with the lives of both men told in alternating chapters. I especially appreciated the documents and photographs that were included throughout the book, all of which added legitimacy to the author’s interpretation of these historical events and their lives.
No matter how many times I read about the Holocaust, I still find the actions perpetrated by men against other humans incomprehensible. So, I was surprised to find that Rudolf was a complex man who initially didn’t embody the traits of the murderous psychopath he became. Through his writings, Rudolf described that the first murders at the concentration camps sickened him so much that he was consumed by the images of those he killed. Obviously, he quickly got over that, as he not only stood present at gassings, hangings, and other executions, but also developed more efficient ways to kill in mass quantities. His wife described life with their children at their villa just outside the Auschwitz camp as delightful and lived in utter opulence. And that is why I’m only slightly ashamed to say that I found the downfall of Rudolf’s family after the war to be just. Hanns escaped to Europe at the beginning of the Nazi’s rise to power, and he gained my respect when he enlisted to fight the Germans with the British. His story shed light on the British troops and their involvement in the war.
This story was absolutely amazing, and I could go on and on about it. I’ve already given this to my dad, a fellow WWII buff, and would highly recommend it to anyone interested in the events of this time period.