Hanns and Rudolf: The German Jew and the Hunt for the


Hanns and Rudolf: The German Jew and the Hunt for the Kommandant of Auschwitz ❰PDF / Epub❯ ☉ Hanns and Rudolf: The German Jew and the Hunt for the Kommandant of Auschwitz Author Thomas Harding – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk Hanns Alexander was the son of a prosperous German family who fled Berlin for London in the s Rudolf H ss was a farmer and soldier who became the Kommandant of Auschwitz Concentration Camp and oversaw Hanns Alexander was the son of a prosperous Rudolf: The Kindle Ñ German family who fled Berlin for London in the s Rudolf H Hanns and PDF \ ss was a farmer and soldier who became the Kommandant of Auschwitz Concentration Camp and oversaw the deaths of over a and Rudolf: The PDF ´ million men, women and childrenIn 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 H ss his most elusive targetIn this book Thomas Harding reveals for the very first time the full, exhilarating account of H ss capture Moving from the Middle Eastern campaigns of the First World War to bohemian Berlin in the s, to the horror of the concentration camps and the trials in Belsen and Nuremberg, it tells the story of two German men whose lives diverged, and intersected, in an astonishing way.

    Hanns and Rudolf: The German Jew and the Hunt for the 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 H ss his most elusive targetIn this book Thomas Harding reveals for the very first time the full, exhilarating account of H ss capture Moving from the Middle Eastern campaigns of the First World War to bohemian Berlin in the s, to the horror of the concentration camps and the trials in Belsen and Nuremberg, it tells the story of two German men whose lives diverged, and intersected, in an astonishing way."/>
  • Hardcover
  • 368 pages
  • Hanns and Rudolf: The German Jew and the Hunt for the Kommandant of Auschwitz
  • Thomas Harding
  • English
  • 05 November 2019
  • 0434022365

About the Author: Thomas Harding

Thomas Harding is a bestselling author whose books Rudolf: The Kindle Ñ have been translated intothan languages He has written for the Sunday Hanns and PDF \ Times, the Washington Post and the Guardian, among other publications He is the author of HANNS AND RUDOLF which won the and Rudolf: The PDF ´ JQ Wingate Prize for Non Fiction THE HOUSE BY THE LAKE, which was shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award and BLOOD ON THE PAGE which won the Crime Writers Association Golden Dagger Award for Non Fiction For all his books, reviews and updates, go to thomasharding and follow him on twitter thomasharding.



10 thoughts on “Hanns and Rudolf: The German Jew and the Hunt for the Kommandant of Auschwitz

  1. Dem Dem says:

    Fascinating and at times deeply disturbing but a book that will stay with me for a long time.This is my second book by the author Thomas Harding having read and really enjoyed The House by the Lake I decided to try another of his books and this one sounded fascinating.While attending his great uncle s funeral in 2006 Thomas Harding discovers that Hanns Alexander, whose Jewish family fled to Britain from Nazi Germany in the 1930s, was responsibable for hunting down and capturing the notorious Fascinating and at times deeply disturbing but a book that will stay with me for a long time.This is my second book by the author Thomas Harding having read and really enjoyed The House by the Lake I decided to try another of his books and this one sounded fascinating.While attending his great uncle s funeral in 2006 Thomas Harding discovers that Hanns Alexander, whose Jewish family fled to Britain from Nazi Germany in the 1930s, was responsibable for hunting down and capturing the notorious and ruthless commandant of Autwitz Rudolf H ss at the end of World War Two In this engaging account based on archival materials, family letters, tape recordings, and interviews with survivors, Harding takes us through the two men s lives and we lean a great deal about both and their backgrounds This was probably the most fascinating part of the book for me as I thoroughly enjoyed reading the early life s of these two men and their families.I loved the fact that the writing is clear and concise and Harding has a story to tell and does so in a fashion that is easy to follow and entertaining for the reader I had come across H ss in a number of accounts before and while I knew he was a a monster this books enlightens us to his early career and his family which was new material for me Hanns Alexander a German Jew living in England Is the other protagonist of this book and his early life and family and how he became a Nazi Hunter makes for entertaing reading The book contains Family trees, photos and maps which for me is really important when reading books on historical figures.This was just the book I needed to take me out of my reading slump and while I may have read a great deal about this period in history I still find something new and educational in every book I pick up A book that entertained, educated and at times make me gasp out loud is the reason this one gets the 5 treatment from me

  2. Becky Becky says:

    A wonderful bit of writing here This builds a picture of both Rudolf Hoess and Hanns Alexander, the man who hunted down the former Auschwitz Kommandant Both men are shown to be real human beings, and it is the portrayal of Hoess as a man playing with his children in the shadow of the gas chambers which is so especially chilling Far better that he be shown in this way, rather than as some kind of bogeyman The book displays the lives of the two men in parallel, allowing the history to unfold a A wonderful bit of writing here This builds a picture of both Rudolf Hoess and Hanns Alexander, the man who hunted down the former Auschwitz Kommandant Both men are shown to be real human beings, and it is the portrayal of Hoess as a man playing with his children in the shadow of the gas chambers which is so especially chilling Far better that he be shown in this way, rather than as some kind of bogeyman The book displays the lives of the two men in parallel, allowing the history to unfold and making use of as many sources as possible The epilogue is, in my opinion, especially moving Obviously not an easy read due to the subject matter but well worth it

  3. Paul Lockman Paul Lockman says:

    Thomas Harding was at his great uncle Hanns funeral in 2006 and found out that he had tracked down Rudolf H ss, the commandant of Auschwitz, at the end of WWII and was largely responsible for bringing him to justice Amazing but true Hanns Alexander didn t like to talk about the war and Harding therefore had no idea about his great uncle s feat and decided to write this absorbing, well researched book It s really a dual biography and the alternating chapters of the two men and their involveme Thomas Harding was at his great uncle Hanns funeral in 2006 and found out that he had tracked down Rudolf H ss, the commandant of Auschwitz, at the end of WWII and was largely responsible for bringing him to justice Amazing but true Hanns Alexander didn t like to talk about the war and Harding therefore had no idea about his great uncle s feat and decided to write this absorbing, well researched book It s really a dual biography and the alternating chapters of the two men and their involvement in WWII works well Even though the author is related to Hanns, I thought he approached the subject matter in a very even handed way, not portraying Rudolf H ss as an evil monster but rather, giving us measured and thoughtful insights into his simple upbringing, his early adulthood including his involvement in WWI as a young teenager and on to WWII and his eventual appointment as the commandant of Auschwitz I am always interested in reading about the socio political climate of the 1930s and the lead up to WWII and the subsequent indifference most of the Nazis show to the horrors they committed When H ss has been captured and is awaiting trial he is assessed by a psychologist and a psychiatrist and the dialogue is enlighteningAt the time there were no consequences to consider It didn t occur to me that I would be held responsible You see, in Germany it was understood that if something went wrong, then the man who gave the orders was responsible One of the psychologists goes on to ask him about his feelings towards his Jewish victims H ss explains that it was just assumed that the Jews were to blame for the economic and social hardships in Germany and that this came from the newspapers as well as the military, who declared that they had to protect Germany from the JewsYou can be sure that it was not always pleasant to see those mountains of corpses and smell the continual burning,he continued,but Himmler had ordered it and had even explained the necessity and I never really gave much thought to whether it was wrongH ss added,The problem itself, the extermination of Jewry was not new but only that I was to be the one to carry it out, frightened me at first But after getting the clear direct order and even an explanation with it there was nothing left but to carry it out The psychologist s notes stateIn all of the discussions H ss is quite matter of fact and apathetic, shows some belated interest in the enormity of his crime, but gives the impression that it would never occur to him if somebody hadn t asked him There is too much apathy to leave any suggestion of remorse and even the prospect of hanging does not unduly distress him I have focussed largely on Rudolf H ss but it was also very interesting to read about the Alexander family, their emigration escape to London in the mid 1930s and how Hanns and his twin brother Paul became ashamed of their German roots and what the Germans had done and felt compelled to contribute to the Allied cause.This is an entertaining and absorbing addition to body of work around the holocaust Strongly recommended

  4. Mara Mara says:

    This is the story of two men Hanns Alexander and Rudolf H ss alternately spelled Hoess or H , one a German born Jew and British soldier the other the Commandant of Auschwitz Rudolf H ss I ll use this book s spelling is not to be confused with Rudolf Hess, Deputy F hrer to Hitler who claimed to be suffering from amnesia while awaiting trial at Nuremburg.As a bit of an aficionado of WWII biographies and memoirs, I didn t find this book particularly gripping unto itself I watched the docum This is the story of two men Hanns Alexander and Rudolf H ss alternately spelled Hoess or H , one a German born Jew and British soldier the other the Commandant of Auschwitz Rudolf H ss I ll use this book s spelling is not to be confused with Rudolf Hess, Deputy F hrer to Hitler who claimed to be suffering from amnesia while awaiting trial at Nuremburg.As a bit of an aficionado of WWII biographies and memoirs, I didn t find this book particularly gripping unto itself I watched the documentary Hitler s Children which I highly recommend , and after realizing my H ss Hess Rudolf confusion wanted to learnabout the grandfather of Rainer Hoess pictured with a H ss family portrait below , who, with the books author, visits Auschwitz to see where his father grew up and to confront his past in the film The story of the lives of Rudolf H ss and Hanns Alexander are interesting Hanns ultimately was the one who captured H ss Hanns, one of a pair of identical twins, is likable, a bit of a prankster, with plenty of innocence to be lost as the impact of the war and the betrayal of his country encroach in on his world However, what I felt was a bit lacking in the book or perhaps was left to the reader s imagination was the mind boggling juxtaposition of the insulated environment both mentally and physically H ss created for his family literally adjacent to the site where mass murder was engineered and carried out H ss,so than others with similarly appalling credentials, brought this sort of callused mentality of efficiency and logistics to what he did It was H ss who suggested they find an alternative to the Einsatzgruppen methodology of lining up and shooting prisoners because it was detrimental to Nazi soldier morale Likewise, he was the one who instructed the soldiers to tell the jews entering the gas chambers to keep track of their clothes as it helped to keep them calm, which again was easier for the soldiers to handle psychologically I certainly recommend this as a companion piece to Hitler s Children

  5. Christoph Fischer Christoph Fischer says:

    Hanns and Rudolf The True Story of the German Jew Who Tracked Down and Caught the Kommandant of Auschwitz by Thomas Harding is a well researched and documented account of two men s lives We learn about Rudolf Hoess, commander of the Auschwitz concentration camp, the man responsible for millions of deaths, from his childhood to the rise within the SS, his running of the camp, his life in hiding and his capture.Hanns Alexander, a Berlin Jew who fled to London with his family, joined the Britis Hanns and Rudolf The True Story of the German Jew Who Tracked Down and Caught the Kommandant of Auschwitz by Thomas Harding is a well researched and documented account of two men s lives We learn about Rudolf Hoess, commander of the Auschwitz concentration camp, the man responsible for millions of deaths, from his childhood to the rise within the SS, his running of the camp, his life in hiding and his capture.Hanns Alexander, a Berlin Jew who fled to London with his family, joined the British Forces and then went on to capture Hoess.The book is very informative and gave a great account of what the people behind the names might have been like Either lives are incredible and Harding has done a great job at venturing an educated guess at looking into the minds of these two people.Having read several books of similar themes I found this book to be shining with its credibility and objectivity

  6. Lorri Lorri says:

    Hanns and Rudolf The True Story of the German Jew Who Tracked Down and Caught the Kommandant of Auschwitz, by Thomas Harding, is a brilliantly written and well researched book This non fiction account of two men whose lives converge, told through the eyes of the author, whose uncle was Lieutenant Hanns Alexander Hanns was a Jewish German, and also the son of an immigrant family who fled Germany for England They had to turn over all of their holdings in order to gain exit visas.Rudolph Hoss Hanns and Rudolf The True Story of the German Jew Who Tracked Down and Caught the Kommandant of Auschwitz, by Thomas Harding, is a brilliantly written and well researched book This non fiction account of two men whose lives converge, told through the eyes of the author, whose uncle was Lieutenant Hanns Alexander Hanns was a Jewish German, and also the son of an immigrant family who fled Germany for England They had to turn over all of their holdings in order to gain exit visas.Rudolph Hoss not to be confused with Rudolf Hess was a farmer, a man who enjoyed the earth and farming Farming eventually became far removed from his life, and it eluded him once he joined the Schutz Staffel SS , under the suggestion of Heinrich Himmler The author refers to the two men by their given name, and I shall do the same Their personal lives are depicted throughout the pages, regarding their childhoods, their families, their adult lives and their aspirations One thing that struck me was the dedication to Judaism within the Alexander family And, cemented within that, is the family Torah, the Alexander Torah Within rotating chapters detailing the lives of both Hanns and Rudolf, the reader gains an intense perspective of their backgrounds, their personal lives, their goals and their individual quests in the name of country and war.Hanns life takes dramatic turns once he is in England He wants nothingthan to be viewed as English as possible and wants to gain citizenship He joins the British Army, and is told that once he serves his enlistment time, he would gain citizenship This enlistment leads tothan he could ever imagine.The pages are infused with compelling documentation, letters, forms, photographs, testimonies, and portions of Rudolf s own journal entries From all of the intense documentations, one is given perspectives that are unimaginable, concerning Rudolf s rise to Kommandant, not only Kommandant, but Kommandant of Auschwitz Rudolf writes forthrightly concerning the atrocities he is involved with, and this reader could see how his initial attitude of concern for Jews eventually turns into one of pure evilness and lack of caring and concern for humanity How he went from a man who was repulsed by witnessing camp murders yet, stood there watching as if it was a normal fact of life, to save his reputation , to a man whose attitude changed dramatically He became a man possessed with death and destruction, and a man who had no remorse or concern for his implementation of the gas chambers.He had a hand in the design and was witness to the first gassings, he programmed the entire operation, employing not only his power, but whatever was available in order to incorporate destruction and horrific atrocities He oversaw over one million individuals exterminated at the hands of the Nazis He was the master planner, and created the extermination program that existed, including the procedures, schedules, structures, and instructions He was fearless, merciless and steadfast in his pursuit to please his superiors.Hanns moved up through the ranks, and his Lieutenant status saw him eventually given the status of respect he desired He took part in the Normandy Landing In 1945 he was afforded a role on the newly formed War crimes Investigation Team for England, based in a Brussels suburb This position took him to Bergen Belsen concentration camp where he saw the remains of unspeakable acts of genocide, after liberation His reputation fostered, he was given the job as an interpreter, taking notes from interviews and witness statements in German and then transcribing them into English he interviewed several high ranking individuals affiliated with Auschwitz, and other individuals from the SS He untiring efforts garnered information that proved that certain SS members knew that gassings exterminations occurred at Auschwitz The war crimes trial began with the trial of Josef Kramer and forty four other people Hanns could see, after a few days of trial testimony, Hanns knew in his heart of hearts that there were others who were conspirators or who headed the exterminations of the Jews.The War Crimes Group was created, and those involved, including Hanns, were trying to locate SS high ranking officials through their intelligence experise In 1946, he looked over the list of war criminals, and Rudolf s name was next He began investigating and searching for Rudolf He was relentless in his investigation and searching He left no stone unturned, every name was interviewed and interviewed again On March 10 1946, Rudolf was found and was taken to prison From there, the rest is history Rudolf confessed to murdering over two million individuals He was hanged at Auschwitz, in the same spot where Jews were hung.Hanns and Rudolf is an incredibly compelling book, reading like a spy story of sorts It is intense, written brilliantly and with extreme accuracy, through the dedication of exhaustive research in all of its formats Harding has done humanity an amazing tribute to the tirelessness of Hanns and his efforts to right the wrongs through justice being done Harding has also shown the world a side of Rudolf that is invaluable for historical purposes The reader is taken on a journey of a man who controlled his emotions, controlled the deaths of Jews, and who controlled Auschwitz with a firm hand.I knew the book would be intense and filled with horrific situations and events Yet, I read it, and within the pages of depictions of Auschwitz and the lack of humanity within the walls of electrified fences, I was chilled to the bone reading about some of the circumstances, andchilled and horrified at how Rudolf seemed to slough off the atrocities as if they were nothing of importance.Harding s efforts are to be applauded Hanns and Rudolf The True Story of the German Jew Who Tracked Down and Caught the Kommandant of Auschwitz is a work of extreme brilliance and Thomas Harding is masterful in the telling From the opening page, describing Hanns funeral, to the last page, I was captivated and involved in reading the relaying of history, and inhaling the familial dynamics, especially of the Alexander family Hanns and Rudolf belongs on every book shelf, personal or otherwise It is books such as this that will keep history alive, and will keep it not only for this generation, but generations past, and generations in the future It is an invaluable historical resource.I want to thank Leah Johanson, from Simon and Schuster for the Advanced Uncorrected Proof of Hanns and Rudolf I am grateful to have received it, and to have read it Thank you

  7. Susan Susan says:

    The author of this absorbing book was surprised to discover, at his great uncle s funeral, that his relative was the man who tracked down war criminal Rudolf Hoss In this engaging work, he tells the story of two men s lives in an honest and sympathetic manner Harding parallels their biographies Rudolf Hoss, born in 1901 in Baden Baden, whose father had decided he would join the priesthood, but who joined the army to fight in WWI at the age of fourteen and who was a Commander at just sixteen The author of this absorbing book was surprised to discover, at his great uncle s funeral, that his relative was the man who tracked down war criminal Rudolf Hoss In this engaging work, he tells the story of two men s lives in an honest and sympathetic manner Harding parallels their biographies Rudolf Hoss, born in 1901 in Baden Baden, whose father had decided he would join the priesthood, but who joined the army to fight in WWI at the age of fourteen and who was a Commander at just sixteen years old an odd mix of family man and committed National Socialist Hanns Alexander, meanwhile, was born in 1933 to a rich and influential family, his father, an eminant doctor, was initially reluctant to even consider leaving Germany until the danger became too great Luckily, Dr Alexander was visiting his married daughter in London when it became evident that he was to be arrested and the family managed to finally meet up again in England When war broke out, both Hanns and his twin brother Paul were determined to enlist.This work takes us through the war years, where Hoss recalled how Himmler gave him personal orders to Auschwitz to become, a site of mass annihilation Zyklon B provided a cheap and quick method of killing hundreds of people at a time Later, Hoss chillingly recalled how solving the problem of the mechanism for mass murder meant that, now my mind was at ease As the war neared its end, the Allies created a database of alleged war criminals and the Commandant of Auschwitz was high on that list However, the British war crimes response was not seen as of major importance until British troops entered Belsen Hanns Alexander was chosen for the first ever war crimes investigation team, first as an interpreter and later as a war crimes investigator When Hanns arrived at Belsen his shock, rage and purpose was palpable he knew that what happened in the concentration camps could easily have happened to him had he stayed in Germany Hanns vowed to hunt down missing war criminals, especially Kommandant Hoss How Hoss was tracked down and what happened to him at the close of the war is unveiled, often readinglike a thriller than a factual account.The author has really managed to write a book which is immensely readable, interesting and sympathetic to all the people he writes about which, frankly, isthan Hoss deserves His complete inability to realise what he was accountable for is truly shocking his crimes almost defy belief This, however, is an important book it is a thrilling story of justice and the search for a man trying to evade capture, an account of how people forced to leave their country started again and the biography of two very different men It is Rudolf Hoss s normality which shocks you when you consider even a small number of the crimes he perpetuated It is Hanns Alexander s normality which shows you how resourceful and brave people can be when their cause is just An excellent book and highly recommended

  8. Wendy Cartmell Wendy Cartmell says:

    Hanns and Rudolf by Thomas Harding is a fascinating historical and personal account of the lives of Hanns Alexander a German Jews who captures Rudolf Hoss, the notorious commandant of Auschwitz This is no dry historical tome, however, but the personal story of the lives of the two men, told in parallel The subject of the book is harrowing in the extreme The author, Thomas Harding, writes with a sensitive pen, yet does not shy away from the atrocities presided over by Hoss It does, however, a Hanns and Rudolf by Thomas Harding is a fascinating historical and personal account of the lives of Hanns Alexander a German Jews who captures Rudolf Hoss, the notorious commandant of Auschwitz This is no dry historical tome, however, but the personal story of the lives of the two men, told in parallel The subject of the book is harrowing in the extreme The author, Thomas Harding, writes with a sensitive pen, yet does not shy away from the atrocities presided over by Hoss It does, however, attempt to paint as accurate a picture as possible of the man, his family, his rise in the Nazi machine and the scope and scale of his work It also shows the plight of the German Jews from the perspective of those who fled Germany in time to avoid persecution and settled in England Hanns and his brother join the British Army and in due course become British Nationals.WWII and the holocaust should never be lost from the world s conscience and this is an excellent way of ensuring the story will continue to be told

  9. Katy Katy says:

    This is a well written book, but the subject matter makes it a hard book to read It is a sad but true story of the brutality of men It is necessary that we as humans do not forgot this part of our history This book made me rethink what I know of the holocaust There is no happy ending here Simon Schuster sent me a free copy of the book as part of a History Book Club read This is a well written book, but the subject matter makes it a hard book to read It is a sad but true story of the brutality of men It is necessary that we as humans do not forgot this part of our history This book made me rethink what I know of the holocaust There is no happy ending here Simon Schuster sent me a free copy of the book as part of a History Book Club read

  10. Kressel Housman Kressel Housman says:

    When it comes to books on the Holocaust, I generally prefer memoirs by the victims who kept their faith and helped others survive, but this book, which traces the lives of Rudolph Hoss, Kommandant of Auschwitz, and Hanns Alexander, a German born Jew who escaped to England, joined the Allies, and ended up a Nazi hunter, was still very good It might even make a good introduction to the subject for someone, the kind of book to be assigned in high school or college By focusing on two individuals, When it comes to books on the Holocaust, I generally prefer memoirs by the victims who kept their faith and helped others survive, but this book, which traces the lives of Rudolph Hoss, Kommandant of Auschwitz, and Hanns Alexander, a German born Jew who escaped to England, joined the Allies, and ended up a Nazi hunter, was still very good It might even make a good introduction to the subject for someone, the kind of book to be assigned in high school or college By focusing on two individuals, it makes the period understandable It s by no means the only book a person should read on the Holocaust, but it s a good springboard for beginners and adds depth to those of us already well read on the subject.The book alternates between the two men s lives, so you see Hoss as a soldier in the First World War, his involvement in the volkish groups in the 20 s, and his rise through the ranks of the Nazi party In parallel, you see the Alexander family s rise to prominence in the 20 s and their scramble to escape once Hitler came to power Hanns and Hoss stories merge after the war when Hanns uses his fluent German and his hatred for the Nazis to track Hoss down and bring him to justice Hanns methods were sometimes ruthless, but I suppose that s the only way to catch a Nazi on the run.The part of the book that really made my blood run cold was the description of Hoss figuring out the most efficient means of extermination, ie the crematoria There s been plenty of discussion on the History Group boards about how anyone could be so evil The answer, of course, is complicated, and probably beyond our understanding, but I think it s significant that once the mass killings started, Hoss could no longer sleep with his wife When he silenced whatever natural compassion was within him in order to kill, his personal impulse for love went along with it.As I said before, this is not THE definitive book on the Holocaust, but then perhaps, no such book can exist For general history, there are plenty of excellent documentary films a picture s worth a thousand words but for the human experience, this book, as long as it s supplemented with some books by Orthodox Jewish survivors and stories of righteous gentiles, is a fine addition to anyone s Holocaust education Disclaimer I received this book for free through the History Book Club on Goodreads Thank you, Simon and Schuster

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *