Hanns and Rudolf : The German Jew and the Hunt for the Kommandant of Auschwitz, Paperback Book

Hanns and Rudolf : The German Jew and the Hunt for the Kommandant of Auschwitz Paperback

5 out of 5 (1 rating)


This is The Sunday Times Bestseller Winner Of The JQ Wingate Prize 2015 Shortlisted For The Costa Biobgrahy Award. "A gripping thriller, an unspeakable crime, an essential history." (John Le Carre).

Hanns Alexander was the son of a prosperous German family who fled Berlin for London in the 1930s.

Rudolf Hoss was a farmer and soldier who became the Kommandant of Auschwitz Concentration Camp and oversaw the deaths of over a million men, women and children.

In the aftermath of the Second World War, the first British War Crimes Investigation Team is assembled to hunt down the senior Nazi officials responsible for the greatest atrocities the world has ever seen.

Lieutenant Hanns Alexander is one of the lead investigators, Rudolf Hoss his most elusive target.

In this book Thomas Harding reveals for the very first time the full account of Hoss' capture.

Moving from the Middle-Eastern campaigns of the First World War to bohemian Berlin in the 1920s, to the horror of the concentration camps and the trials in Belsen and Nuremberg, Hanns and Rudolf tells the story of two German men whose lives diverged, and intersected, in an astonishing way.


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I found this book gripping, not because it was enjoyable but because of the insight it gave into the development of the characters of the two men whose lives it followed. It traces the life of Rudolf Hoss (not Hess) who became the camp commandant of Auschwitz, designing and implementing the gas chambers and the process for the annihilation of Jews, Russian prisoners of war, Roma and others. It also traces the life of Hanns Alexander, a German-born Jew who eventually tracked Hoss down, leading to his conviction and execution. <br/><br/>A gripping read, and one that gives fascinating insights into the development of Nazism, as well as provoking me to continue to use my critical faculties and to challenge the misuse of authority and the mistreatment of people anywhere in life I come across it.

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