Auschwitz was a world unlike any other because it was created and governed according to the principles of absolute evil. Its only function was death. The first question, then, is whether we see Auschwitz as the epitome of life itself, an incarnation of the darkest principles of Machiavelli and Hobbes, or whether we see it as a mirror image of the true life, a Satanic perversion of some divine plan that we have not yet discovered. From that central enigma, flow all the lesser contradictions that still bedevil anyone who seeks to understand the mystery of Auschwitz. Did it represent the ultimate evil of the German nation, and was that the evil of German rationality or of German irrationality? Or did it represent, conversely, the apotheosis of Jewish suffering? And was that suffering simply the result of centuries of anti-Semitism, or was it part of the fulfillment of the prophecy that the tormented Jews would someday return to Palestine, return, as Ezekiel had written, to “the land that is restored from the ravages of the sword, where people are gathered out of many nations upon the mountains of Israel”?

It can be argued that Auschwitz proves there is no God, neither for the Jews nor for the Catholics, neither for atheists nor for Jehovah’s Witnesses, who all went equally helpless to their death. “If all this was possible,” wrote one Hungarian survivor, Eugene Heimler, “if men could be herded like beasts toward annihilation, then all that I had believed in before must have been a lie. There was not, there could not be, a God, for he could not condone such godlessness.” But such declarations have been made at every moment of extreme crisis by those who see God only in success and happiness. Since all efforts to prove or explain God’s purpose demonstrate only the futile diligence of worker ants attempting to prove the existence of Mozart, Auschwitz can just as well prove a merciful God, an indifferent God, or, perhaps best, an unknowable God.

From The Kingdom of Auschwitz by Otto Friedrich


Brother Number One: A Political Biography of Pol Pot

David P. Chandler

Pol Pot is one of the most elusive revolutionary leaders of the 20th century. No modern leader (or despot?) has left so little trace of his existence, a situation not helped by his use of multiple false names. His personal story begins as an indifferent student who becomes a gifted teacher. He now leads, or led (there are conflicting reports of his death), one of the w.orld’s toughest guerrilla groups. His personal reputation is as a polite, charming and deferential man, but is juxtaposed with his bearing responsibility for one the greatest genocides of the 20th century. SC

Publisher: Westview
Hardback: 254 pages

Cleansing the Fatherland: Nazi Medicine and Racial Hygiene

Aly, Chroust and Pross

“The infamous Nuremberg Doctors’ Trials of 1946-47 revealed horrifying crimes—ranging from grotesque medical experiments on humans to mass murder—committed by physicians and other health care workers in Nazi Germany. But far more common, argue the authors, were the doctors who profited porfessionally and financially from the killings but were never called to task—and indeed were actively shielded by colleagues in postwar German medical organizations… They also reveal details of countless lesser known killings—all ordered by doctors and all in the name of public health. Maladjusted adolescents, the handicapped, foreign laborers too ill to work, even German soldiers who suffered mental breakdowns after air raids were ‘selected for treatment.’ The book also includes original documents—never before published in English—that give unique and chilling insight into the everyday workings of Nazi medicine.”

Publisher: Johns Hopkins University
Paperback: 296 pages

Confessions of a Holocaust Revisionist: Part 1

Bradley R. Smith

“Smith illustrates the dimensions of the taboo surrounding orthodox Holocaust claims in carefully detailed accounts of his everyday encounters with others: a Jewish student returning home from Harvard on summer vacation; the new husband of his ex-wife; an elderly survivor on a radio talk show; Irv Rubin of the Jewish Defense League—even with his own mother. Smith’s repugnance at being labeled anti-Jewish is the greatest hurdle he has to overcome in his efforts to write honestly about the Holocaust. He tells of his growing awareness of how the Holocaust lobby manipulates charges of anti-Jewishness to discourage open inquiry into the extermination thesis, and to compromise the reputations of those who persist in it.”

Publisher: Popular Reality
Paperback: 57 pages

Death Dealer: The Memoirs of the SS Kommandant at Auschwitz

Rudolph Höss

Up-close journals written by one of the most infamous Nazi death camp commanders of World War II. A very bleak and disturbing look into the mind of Rudolph Höss and the genocidal plot of the Final Solution. These memoirs journey from day one of this senior Reich officer’s career up until his day of execution, bringing to light a brutal and almost unfathomable time in history, as well as the sad nature of Höss’ pride and merits. Complete with reference guide listing all of the historic SS criminals. Ruthless and mortifying, this document is guaranteed to disturb and educate about the horrors that occurred at Auschwitz. TD

Publisher: Da Capo
Paperback: 390 pages

Defiance: The Bielski Partisans

Nechama Tec

As a protest against the prevailing image of the Jews marching like docile lambs into Nazi death chambers, the author of this book relates the exploits of a 1,200-man Jewish partisan group, fighting against the Nazis in the forests of Byelorussia. Relying on accounts supplied by ex-partisans, Tec effectively corrects the image of the Jews complacently resigning themselves to the inevitability of death. JB

Publisher: Oxford University
Paperback: 304 pages

East Timor: Genocide in Paradise

Matthew Jardine

Since 1974, Indonesia has exterminated one-third of the population, with U.S. complicity. Here’s the how and why of this disaster. Introduction by Noam Chomsky. AK

Publisher: Odonian
Paperback: 110 pages

Fifty Days on Board a Slave-Vessel

Pascoe G. Hill

This is an account of 50 horrific days on a slave ship, and it will forever haunt its readers with a vision of the inhumane conditions endured by captured Africans. “Many of the Negroes have letters cut on the breast or shoulder, which Antonio tells me, are the marks of the respective owners who, on the vessel’s arrival at Rio, thus recognize their own property.” SC

Publisher: Black Classic
Paperback: 58 pages

Fighting Back: A Memoir of Jewish Resistance in World War II

Harold Werner

For decades it was thought that the Jews of Europe went like “lambs to the slaughter” during the Holocaust. However, after the spectacular achievements of the Israeli armed forces during the 1967 war, a number of books began appearing which contradicted the idea that the Jewish people made no effort to defend themselves from Nazi persecution. We know today that over 1.5 million Jews served in the various allied forces during World War II. Among them were a number of distinguished generals and officers. Apart from this not inconsiderable number of combatants, who served with distinction, stood the vast numbers of partisans scattered throughout Nazi-occupied Europe. The exact number of partisans shall never be known, but an estimate of 1 million would not be an exaggeration. Fighting Back details the Jewish resistance movement in Poland, and adds many new and exciting details to this intriguing chapter of contemporary history. The author details his personal experiences as a member of one large Jewish partisan group. JB

Publisher: Columbia University
Paperback: 253 pages

Hitler: Speeches and Proclamations, 1932-1945: Volume 1, 1932-1934

Max Domarus

This is the first expanded work on Hitler’s speeches offered in the English language, the first of four volumes, which spans the years of Hitler’s career from 1932 to 1945. There is perhaps no contemporary leader who spoke as much or as often as Adolf Hitler, whose utterances, however trivial, were faithfully recorded by devoted disciples. (A massive 30-volume set of Hitler’s speeches, writing and proclamations was published in Germany about 10 years ago.) The material is well-organized, though highly selective, due to the constrictions imposed by the sheer mass of Hitler’s torrents of verbiage. A few insightful quotes from the lips of the Fuehrer: “Lies and slander of positively hair-raising perversity are being launched about Germany. Horror stories of dismembered Jewish corpses, gouged-out eyes, and hacked-off hands are circulated for the purpose of defaming the German Volk in the world for a second time, just as they had succeeded in doing once before in 1918… They lie about Jewish females who have supposedly been killed, about Jewish girls allegedly being raped before the eyes of their parents, about cemeteries being ravaged. The whole thing is one big lie invented for the sole purpose of provoking a new world-war agitation.” JB

Publisher: Bolchazy-Carducci
Hardback: 611 pages

Hitler’s Willing Executioners

Daniel Goldhagen

“In a work as authoritative as it is explosive, Goldhagen forces us to revisit and reconsider our understanding of the Holocaust and its perpetrators, demanding a fundamental revision in our thinking of the years 1933-1945. Drawing principally on materials either unexplored or neglected by previous scholars, Goldhagen marshals new, disquieting primary evidence that explains why, when Hitler conceived the ‘final solution’ he was able to enlist vast numbers of willing Germans to carry it out.”

Publisher: Vintage
Paperback: 656 pages