Joseph Tenenbaum sketches a portrait of the infamous “Commandant of Auschwitz”, Rudolf Hoess.
“Rudolf Hoess has killed more people than any man in history, and Auschwitz was the greatest charnel house of all times. There has been no dearth of publications about the place or the person. […] It seems that after a period of repudiation of the crimes and apologia for them, we are entering an era of memoirs by boastful generals and complacent Nazi small fry, eager to bask in the sun of regained self-confidence and unregenerate Nazi mentality.
The Hoess memoirs are an exception to both trends. His revelations are neither apologetic nor an attempt at vindication. The memoirs are indeed a unique literary document, in which the author is trying to explain, first and foremost himself to himself, Hoess to Hoess, and incidentally also to shed light on the most hidden mainsprings of a mind gone criminal.”—From Author’s Preface