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Despite its lies, inaccuracies and self-serving distortions

9 November 2019

Commenting on Commandant of Auschwitz By Rudolf Höss (1959):

Despite its lies, inaccuracies and self-serving distortions, Rudolf Höss’s book, written in 1947 during his trial in Poland, is, as Primo Levi writes in his introduction, “substantially truthful.” Germans serving in Auschwitz, Höss tells us, were expected to join in the killing of Jews as their contribution to German society. Höss’s voice is that of a frustrated bureaucrat bemoaning the incompetence of those around him. “I lived only for my work,” he writes. He also speaks of himself as a “fanatical National Socialist” for whom the “extermination programme seemed to me right” for combatting the danger of “Jewish supremacy.” He believed that inadequate Nazi leaders failed to live up to the Führer’s beautiful principles so that true National Socialism was never realized. Nazism’s malignant normality—fanatical, methodical, mystical—has never found clearer or more murderous expression.

~ Robert Jay Lifton

Link to the rest at The Wall Street Journal (sorry if you hit a paywall)

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2 Comments to “Despite its lies, inaccuracies and self-serving distortions”

  1. …inadequate Nazi leaders failed to live up to the Führer’s beautiful principles so that true National Socialism was never realized.

    Why does that sound so familiar? Oh, it is the constant refrain of those who are (supposedly) on the other end of the political spectrum.

  2. National Socialism. Soviet Socialism. Democratic Socialism. Socialism.

    Everybody does it wrong. Socialism must be beyond human ken, because nobody ever gets it right.

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