It ought to surprise no one that America, forever destined to carry the sign of Cain for the Hiroshima & Nagasaki bombings, attempted to hide in a haze of moral superlatives at Nuremberg after WW2.
Justice never reigned there, only the dictatorship of force. Force demands victims and there were many at Nuremberg; just as there were many innocents at Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Iraq, Guatemala, Panama, Iran, Chile, Vietnam, China, etc
America who sold the Iraq invasion on a pack of lies; and caused the deaths of over 1 million innocent Iraq civilians, 500,000 of which were children whose only crime was being born at the wrong place at the wrong time!
North Korea threatened to NUKE the USA last week - Yet no efforts are made to invade North Korea. Could it be because North Korea has no oil?
A country that imprisons 1 in 100; where the CIA are the brokers of crack & cocaine & where Dick Cheney makes profits off the prison system!
Longest period of time USA has gone without bombing someone: 2 years
A war rationale is gradually imposing itself onto international relations: massive, unilateral re-arming of the United States; attack of Afghanistan without proving the case for self-defense; attack of Iraq under false pretence before plundering its resources; open threats against Syria and Iran; declaration of a remodelling of frontiers in the "Great Middle-East"; development of the hatred media and the "clash of civilizations" ideology.
There are U.S. troops stationed in 148 countries and 11 territories in every corner of the globe. This the greatest number of countries that the United States has ever had troops in. This also means that U.S. troops occupy over 75 percent of the world's countries
There are number of editions of SS Kommandant Rudolf Hoess' memoirs out in a variety of formats. The best one is DEATHDEALER: THE MEMOIRS OF THE SS KOMMANDANT AT AUSCHWITZ edited by Steven Paskuly, translated by Andrew Pollinger. Pollinger is a concentration camp survivor and Paskuly "teaches German in the Buffalo Public Schools.
Even if this book has a foreword by Primo Levi, it's certainly modest in its origins given the importance of its subject matter.
Where are all those Oxford dons? Instead, we've got a book edited by a high school German teacher!
The proof, however, is in the pudding and Mr.Paskuly proves himself to be a careful, scholarly editor. Considering the fact that SS Commandant Hoess oversaw the murder of 1.1 million Jews by his own count, would Mr. Pollinger's translation of his memoirs be slanted? It didn't appear to be. I compared it to another translation and didn't see any significant differences.
Hoess' memoirs were written while he was in Allied captivity. Those who seek to deny that the Holocaust took place vigorously try to dismiss Hoess' memoirs as the result of "torture". Some even suggest that they were dictated by the NKVD since Hoess was transferred from British to Polish custody at a time when Stalin controlled post-war Poland.
While it is certainly good to be cautious about any document dictated in captivity, a careful reading of Hoess' memoirs doesn't support the assertion that torture influenced what Hoess wrote. For one thing he complains about how some of his captors treated him. In fact most of the information available about his alleged mistreatment at Allied hands comes from his own memoirs. No NKVD officer would have let something like slip by.
It's also significant that Hoess ignores the Soviet estimate that over 4 million people were murdered at the Nazi concentration camp he commanded. He estimates that 1.1 million were murdered, an estimate which most historians agree is accurate. Why would any Soviet officer worth his salt let something like that by?
The tone of Hoess' memoirs also strikes me as appropriate for an SS officer. He brags about being decorated by the Fuhrer for his tireless work. He describes his personal revulsion while observing mass executions at the gas chambers. And, on every page, he weaves into almost all his words his belief that he was just following orders. He repeats the old SS motto, "Fuhrer! You command and we obey!" Indeed, the SS dagger he carried had the SS motto "Loyalty is my honor", and the same thing appeared on SS belt buckles.
Maybe he saw that as a defense? A lot of other Nazis did.
There's another tone which underlies his narrative. Raised a Roman Catholic, he clearly seeks to confess and unburden himself of his transgressions, no matter how massive and horrible they were. Yet another reason to consider his memoirs genuine.
It is also significant that his observations coincide with those of other SS such as Dr. Johann Kremer and SS Corporal Pery Broad. They also coincide with those of such suvivors as Filip Mueller (EYEWITNESS AUSCHWITZ: THREE YEARS IN THE GAS CHAMBERS) and with the physical evidence of the camp itself. Those are well described by Professors Deborah Dwork and Robert Jan van Pelt in AUSCHWITZ.
Hoess didn't have access to any of his records when he wrote his memoirs and this is where Mr.Paskuly earns his editorial spurs with thorough annotations explaining some of the glitches and mistakes Hoess makes in his memoirs. He forgets some dates and gets names wrong, that sort of thing. The notes really help and the overall impression I had was that Hoess' memoirs were genuine and were substantially accurate making this a very valuable book for anyone interested in the Holocaust.
DEATH DEALER's value is further enhanced by its appendices. The most interesting and valuable of which (to me at least) were the minutes of the Wannsee Conference of January 20, 1942. Even this is enhanced by an introductory note quoting Adolf Eichmann's testimony at Jerusalem on July 24, 1961, about how he rephrased the finished draft of the conference eliminating such blunt terms as "killing, elimination, and annihilation." (pp. 371-372)
If you're interested in the Holocaust, you need this edition of this book. I gave it five stars.
To see what a person can do to another person(s) is amazing. To think he was thinking of becoming a priest and goes on to murder millions of people, saying it was his duty!
Whether it was all 100% accurate or not - is of no significance to me.
What i learned - was how a human being can hurt others the way he did.
No excuse - guilty!
Let's all pray - no madman like this ever gets this type of chance again
Other reviews have adequately described the uniqueness of this diary. I want to comment briefly on its contents.
What I found fascinating was Hoss' description of the petty rivalries various bureacracies within the Nazi regime had for each other, and their competing aims. These rivalries are very matter-of-factly explained, even though they involved the intentional murder of millions.
For example, Speer and his war production needs placed significant demands for slave labor. This collided with Himmler's orders to kill all the Jews. So there was constant tension between finding sufficient slaves from the "prison" populations, keeping them healthy enough to be useful slave laborers, and yet also satisfy demands for more numbers of Jews killed. The Nazi doctors, meanwhile, had their own concerns -- they did not want to certify borderline Jews as "healthy" for slave labor, and then find their limited medical sources "wasted" on treating sick Jews that were going to die and were not particularly useful to the war machine anyways.
The banal nature of this testimony -- by supposedly "educated" European bureacrats as they efficiently calculate planning and other material needs of a large sophisticated war economy -- is simply stunning.
I also found his first-hand accounts of the final phase of the war to be interesting -- the trail of tears of millions of displaced German civilians, slave laborers, soldiers and of course Auschwitz 'death marchers' all converged in a mad rush through the snow to escape the marauding Russians, all while Allied bombs fell overhead.
The personal details, as Primo Levi notes brilliantly in his introduction, are scary for their apparent lack of self-awareness and intense need for projection and/or denial.
Hoss was a skilled cog, indoctrinated into a propaganda machine that emphasized country, loyalty and moral and racial superiority. His defense of anti-semitism (the Nazis got it wrong in its execution, but not in its ideology) remains one of the more chilling aspects of his "confession."
SS Kommandant Rudolph Höss (1900–1947) was history's greatest mass murderer, personally supervising the extermination of approximately two million people, mostly Jews, at the death camp in Auschwitz, Poland. Death Dealer is a new, unexpurgated translation of Höss?s autobiography, written before, during, and after his trial. This edition includes rare photos, the minutes of the Wannsee Conference (where the Final Solution was decided and coordinated), original diagrams of the camps, a detailed chronology of important events at Auschwitz-Birkenau, Höss's final letters to his family, and a new foreword by Auschwitz survivor Primo Levi. Death Dealer stands as one of the most important—and chilling—documents of the Holocaust.