Only four men commanded Nazi extermination (as opposed to concentration) camps. Franz Stangl was one of the. Gitta Sereny’s investigation of this man’s mind. Based on 70 hours of interviews with Franz Stangl, commandant of Treblinka (the largest of the five Nazi extermination camps), this book bares the soul. Gitta Sereny, CBE (13 March – 14 June ) was an Austrian-British biographer, Into That Darkness (also following an initial article for the Telegraph.

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She ranks alongside Hannah Arendt, whose phrase ” the banality of evil “, Sereny came to dislike. This was the first book I have read that explored what those who actually ran the Concentration Camps themselves thought during World War II.

Stangl never attended the murders and never even visited the gas-chambers even as he oversaw the construction and day-to-day running of the camp. Through a combination of intimidation, opportunity for advancement and assurances that his only job was to keep law and order, Stangl agreed to go to Schloss Hartheim, esreny of the Euthanasia Institutes, where people with mental and physical infirmities were put to death.

And if he wasn’t going to be honest with her about it, she would stop right there. Yet, he was also the man in charge of this highly-efficient conveyor-belt that delivered death on a thwt unprecedented scale.

For the first time, in all these many days, I darknews given him no help. If you have ever asked yourself “How did the people of Germany allow the holocaust to happen,” this book explains a lot. As well as simply relating words, Sereny describes the man as he talks.

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Into That Darkness: An Examination of Conscience

In some cases, what emerged was more accurate facts; in others, what emerged was the slipperiness of memory and examples of how things look different to different people viewing from different vantage points. And that is a huge accomplishment, because it isn’t easy to understand what motivated a man like Stangl, what kept him loyal to and even proud of his “work,” and how he and his family Gitta Sereny is perhaps the most thorough, meticulous interviewer I’ve ever read.

The Case of Mary Bell. Refresh and try again. We can see how others remembered.

Gitta Sereny led us through our own darkness

View all 7 comments. Extermination camps were only there to exterminate. The Vatican is part of the story, as it was the Vatican that helped Stangl and many other Nazis to flee Germany and settle in Brazil.

A wife that refused to sfreny the truth. While the section on the Vatican is long, it’s also intriguing. Sereny manages to be both our guide and an appropriately impartial gittz of the events described and is open in descr This is one of the most incredible Holocaust books I have come across to date.

Oct 07, Mara rated it it was amazing Shelves: Von Mises had left Austria for Switzerland, but a German friend tipped Margit off that the authorities planned to arrest her to oblige him to return.

And the priest who stood next to her nodded fervently. Even more amazing, to me, was the testimony of some camp survivors who condemned Stangl as horrible for his role as commandant over the camps, but as an interpersonally polite person, being nowhere near as vile in his conduct as Christian Wirth or Odilo Globocnik.

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Into That Darkness – an account of the life of Fritz Stangl, commandant of Treblinka, who escaped after the war and was arrested in Brazil inand became the only commandant of a death camp ever to have been interviewed by a journalist.

While incarcerated, Stangl was interviewed by noted biographer Gitta Sereny.

Gitta Sereny – Wikipedia

As the book progressed I found I was becoming much more interested in what Stangl’s wife was saying than Stangl himself who on the whole was resorting to the usual smokescreening tactics of a guilty conscience under attack. It is always a difficult, asymmetrical relationship, particularly in this case, as Stangl’s secrets are so morally and spiritually destructive of his sense of self.

Like Louis Theroux or Jon Ronson, we can only approach evil as if it were a kind of intellectual comedy. In the time since finishing it, I have found myself referencing this book constantly, and recommend it highly. Arendt portrayed Eichmann as something of a pure “desk murderer” based on his testimony, who was able to facilitate actions he probably couldn’t have carried out on his own volition.

Jul 09, Bryonny rated it it was amazing Shelves: And so go the compromises. Stangl was also involved in the Euthanasia project and at Sobibor, another of the extermination camps. The poster of Che Guevara on a red background [8] is one of his best known creations. He decided his best career would be the police.