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Death dealer : the memoirs of the SS Kommandant at Auschwitz

by Rudolf Höss; Steven Paskuly; Mazal Holocaust Collection.

  Print book : Biography

A Disturbing Description by a "Super-Sociopath"   (2011-07-28)


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by BERNIE2260

Review Written By Bernie Weisz, Historian Pembroke Pines, Fl USA Contact: December 21, 2008 Title of Review: "A Disturbing Description by a "Super-Sociopath!" This is a memoir that exemplifies the true meaning of a sociopath, a man who kills without conscience. Rudolf Hoess was history's greatest mass murderer, the architect and SS Commandant of the largest killing center ever created, the death camp of "Auschwitz" (located in Poland), whose name has come to symbolize humanity's ultimate, abject descent into evil. Responsible for exterminating over 2.5 million people (primarily Jews, as well as Gypsies, Homosexuals, and Russians), he was a mild-mannered, happily married man who enjoyed normal family life with his five children despite his view of the crematorium chimney stacks from his bedroom window. At peak efficiency, Auschwitz had the capacity to murder 10,000 people in 24 hours, as Hoess would testify during the War Crimes trials at Nuremburg after World War II. Witness after witness, as well as mass documents produced irrefutable evidence of the crimes committed, and no witness was more shocking than Rudolf Hoess, who calmly elucidated how he had come to exterminate 2.5 million people. He further expounds upon this in "Commandant of Auschwitz".

Rudolf Franz Hoess was born in 1900 and joined Adolf Hitler's Gestapo (the "SS") in 1933. In 1934 he was attached to the SS at Dachau. Then, on August 1st, 1938, he was adjutant of the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp until his appointment as Commandant of the newly built camp at Auschwitz in early 1940. This was located near the provincial Polish town of Oshweicim in Galacia. In May, 1941 the SS Commander Heinrich Himmler explained to Hoess that Adolf Hitler had given the orders for the final solution for the Jewish question. The "Final Solution' was Hitler's plan to implement Aryian racial purity and rid the continent of any contaminants of Germanic, pure blood Nordic origins, particularly by killing Jews. Hoess details in his book how he converted Auschwitz into an extermination camp and installed gas chambers and crematoriums. Auschwitz became the largest killing center where the greatest number of European Jews were slaughtered. Detailed in this story, Hoess explains how after an experimental gassing there in September 1941 of 850 malnourished and ill prisoners, mass murder became a daily routine.

By mid 1942, mass gassing of primarily Jews utilizing "Zyklon-B" gas commenced at Auschwitz, whereupon extermination was conducted on an industrial scale with 2.5 million innocent men, women and children were eventually butchered through mostly poison gassing, but also through barbaric methods such as starvation, disease, shooting and burning. At Auschwitz "so called" camp doctors i.e. German physicians and scientists performed vile and potentially lethal medical experiments on concentration camp inmates, tortured Jewish and Gypsy children and many others. "Patients" were put into pressure chambers, tested with drugs (lethal gasoline injections), castrated, sterilized, frozen to death and exposed to various traumas. In late 1943 Hoess was appointed chief inspector of all German Concentration camps and worked hard to improve the efficiency of them all. At the end of W.W. II, with Germany's eminent collapse, Hoess describes how he fled at the approach of the Russian Red Army and went into hiding in Germany under the name "Franz Lang". He was arrested by British military police on March 11, 1946. His wife had told the British where he could be found, fearing that her son, Klaus, would be shipped off to Russia.

Handed over to the Polish authorities, he was tried in 1947. While awaiting sentencing, Hoess penned this book. He was sentenced to death, and was returned to Auschwitz to be hanged on the gallows outside the entrance to the gas chamber. John J. Hughes, in his book "A Mass Murderer Repents:The Case of Rudolf Hoess" wrote that four days before he was hung, Hoess sent a message to the state prosecutor. His emotionless veneer cracked as he sent the following message to the state prosecutor stating: "My conscience compels me to make the following declaration. In the solitude of my prison cell I have come to the bitter recognition that I have sinned gravely against humanity. As Commandant of Auschwitz I was responsible for carrying out part of the cruel plans of the "Third Reich" for human destruction. In doing so I have inflicted terrible wounds on humanity. I have caused unspeakable suffering for the Polish people in particular. I am to pay for this with my life. May the Lord God forgive one day what I have done".

The execution was carried out on April 16, 1947. Although never executed, compare Hoess's aforementioned statement with the following. William Calley, the convicted commander of an American fighting unit that on March 16, 1968 entered the South Vietnamese hamlet of "My Lai" and massacred 400 unarmed women children and old men during the Vietnam War, had this to say about his guilt and conscience. This is quoted out of his autobiography. "As a professional soldier I had been taught and instructed to carry out the orders that were issued by the superiors-my lieutenant, my commanding officer, the captain. At no time did it ever cross my mind to disobey or to refuse to carry out an order that was issued by my superiors. I felt that they (Charlie Company) were able to carry out the assigned task, the orders, that meant killing small kids, killing women, because they were soldiers, they were trained that way. I feel that we carried out the orders in a moral fashion, and the orders of destroying the village, of killing the people in the village, and I feel we did not violate any moral standards." Was Calley a sociopath like Hoess?

Hoess was also following orders, issued by Adolf Hitler. Were was his conscience? What happened to God's commandment "Thy Shalt Not Kill? Where was Hoess and Calley's guilt? Another mass murderer, Ted Bundy, a sadistic monster and mass manipulator whose grisly killing spree left at least 30 innocent young women dead, had this to say about guilt: "Guilt? It's this mechanism we use to control people. It's an illusion. It's a kind of social control mechanism-and it's very unhealthy. It does terrible things to our bodies. And there are much better ways to control our behavior rather than the extraordinary use of guilt. Now, some people could listen to what I just said and say "see, he's a sociopath." or whatever term they use. I feel sorry for people who feel guilt." Killing another human being is wrong any way you look at it. Whether it is done on a mass scale such as was done by Hoess and the Nazi's during the Holocaust, or by a serial killer like Ted Bundy, or even using the excuse of a "Holy War", i.e. flying commercial airplanes into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11th, 2001 and killing all those innocent occupants of the Twin Towers in N.Y.C. Regardless, Hoess's book is an examination into the mind of a cold, sterile killer, a deed that history, or myself will never forgive nor forget. Do yourself a favor, read this book objectively and pray that this never occurs again for eternity's sake!

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