The Holocaust in Recent News

Once again, I must start this brief post with an apology. It has been over a month since I last updated the blog; it's amazing how life can get in the way of such things! What with preparing for my upcoming Master's, filling out job applications and changing family circumstances I have not had the time to sit down and write a solid post. Rest assured, however, that this will change soon, and I have some plans for the direction of the blog in the near future. I am, as ever, extremely grateful to those of you that do check the blog from time to time, and to those who are visiting for the first time too.

For the moment, I thought I would leave some interesting links on the page that have appeared in the news recently.

The first is the publication of a new book, 'Hanns and Rudolf', written by Thomas Harding. Harding is the great-nephew of the late Hanns Alexander, a man who was part of the British team that found and captured Rudolf Höss, Kommandant of Auschwitz concentration camp, after the war. The author has taken many years researching and writing the book which is already receiving very positive reviews. One such review, written for The Telegraph by Professor Richard Overy of the University of Exeter, can be found here.

Part of Harding's research involved a visit to America where he interviewed Brigitte Höss, one of the daughters of the former Kommandant. The Höss family lived in a house next to Auschwitz I; indeed, the house still stands today. Now aged 80, Brigitte has spoken publicly about the man who she called Father and her feelings towards being associated with someone responsible so many deaths. Interestingly, however, Brigitte Höss states in the interview that she does not believe "millions" were murdered, asking, "How can there be so many survivors if so many were killed?"

In Germany, meanwhile, the last of Hitler's 'bodyguards' died on the weekend aged 96. Rochus Misch worked as a telephone operator for the German dictator in his underground bunker; he was there when Hitler married long-term partner Eva Braun and when the two committed suicide on 30th April 1945. He was also present in the bunker when Joseph Goebbels and his wife, Magda, poisoned their six children before also killing themselves.
Despite working at the heart of Hitler's administration, Misch maintained that he knew very little about the concentration camps and what was happening to the Jewish population. He did, however, describe working for the Führer as "the happiest time of my life". You can read about Misch's life in this BBC report.