Holocaust Oct 4, 2007
Rhodes’ book is a must have/must read for everyone, and a necessary tool to combat the holocaust deniers who remain among us. Sadly, while it contains observations and testimony that is revealing to some extent of the dark nature lurking within all of us, it lacks what all such books lack: testimony and in-depth analysis of the day-to-day, hands-on perpetrators. These individuals escaped into the general population before the allied liberators got to the death camps. Had they been pursued and captured, we may have been able to uncover so much more regarding how otherwise normal individuals can view their neighbors as subhuman, and then exterminate them simply as a result of following orders. Other books such as Goldensohn’s “Nuremberg Interviews,” Kogon’s “The Theory and Practice of Hell,” and Goldhagen’s scholarly rendition of his thesis, “Hitler’s Willing Executioners,” all fall short in the same respect. Had the allied forces approaching the camps been forewarned about what they might encounter—as they could have been—they might have approached the sites stealthily and captured some of the hands-on perpetrators—not for punishment and retribution, but for analysis and illumination.