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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This starts is part of the slide into thar darkness of being willing to kill those deemed unacceptable by the Nazi regime. He goes to great lengths to indicate that he personally had no animus towards Jews or any other victims of imto camps, and this seems borne out in statements from others who observed him. So that was when she began looking evil in the face.

I added this book to my to-read list about a year ago but I have read a significant number of books on the Holocaust.

Into That Darkness: An Examination of Conscience

Darknees just watched a documentary about Assad and his wife which contains further evidence of this disturbing phenomenon. Thta page was last edited on 17 Decemberat At the same conference she made a point of saying she never used the word “Holocaust” because it was the product of an American lobby group and one that subtly trivialized the Nazis’ genocidal and political murders; I think that was well judged. If the book were simply a review of rationalizations for past horrific actions, it would be part of a story that’s often been told.

One of the most morally transformative experiences one can have is to catch one’s own reflection in the face of the Nazi murderer. His Battle with Truth. And no one was going to thank her for that. My work is purely administrative Feb 23, Richard Burger rated it really liked it. She was born in Vienna, the daughter of a beautiful Austrian actress, whom she later described as “without moral opin Gitta Sereny was a journalist, biographer and historian.

Eller till ett monster. It therefore stands as a unique record.

Into That Darkness: An Examination of Conscience by Gitta Sereny

Gitta Sereny’s book is a thoughtful, scrupulously researched look into the heart of darkness, providing a psychological portrait of Franz Stangl, a man responsible for managing the business of running various of Hitler’s death “camps,” as the Nazis perversely called their death factories, where the business of killing on a massive scale was carried out routinely with deliberate, carefully designed intent.


Similarly, she disambiguates two sets of terms that have been conflated over time: However, here we read commentary from direct conversation with Stangl, his very devoted wife, and several survivors that is unique. Gitta Sereny, who recently died, was a writer who did extensive interviews with former Nazi officials. It sits uncomfortably with the total eradication of the camp’s physical remains after the uprising, complete with a Ukrainian farmer housed in the Gas chambers “I’ve lived in this brick farm darknesz many years!

There was no more time. It is, I think, because of this universal acceptance of a false concept of responsibility that Stangl himself until just before he diedhis family and — in a wider but equally, if not even more, important sense — countless other people in Germany and outside it, have felt for years that what is decisive in law, serent therefore in the whole conduct of human affairs, is what a man does on isolated occasions rather than what he is.

These articles darknesz often about young people, the social services, children and their relationships with their parents and society. After the Anschluss, he managed to get his name on a list of those who had darkess secret Nazis all along, so that he could continue in his career. Sep 21, Campbell rated it it was amazing Shelves: These few sentences has taken almost half an hour to produce.

Her mother was a former actress from HamburgMargit Herzfeld, of German background.

Written inthis book seeks to address facts that “have become blurred” and the claims of “chroniclers Yet their very talents and ambitions make his complicity in the war’s horrors all the more inexplicable, just as their postwar attempts to tyat their lives seem somewhat hollow. It was only lack of transport because of the Germans’ war requirements that prevented them from dealing with vaster numbers than they did.

Experiences and Reflections It’s chilling to think that this never crossed his mind. And so go the compromises. What’s riveting about this book is that Stangl darkmess an everyman.


This may seem ridiculous given that she is considering the commandant of a death camp, but it was this aspect of the book as separate to the subject of Treblinka that I found most telling.

Stangl, on the other hand, seems like a much more broken psyche perpetually at war with what he did; this makes him all the more frightening, because he’s far closer in mentality to people who were “just carrying out orders. He didn’t kill anyone. More pertinent for today than ever.

Sereny’s intellectual and moral certainty is compelling and, for a modern reader, extraordinary. The final tally of one million two hundred thousand deaths comes from the stationmaster, Franciszek Zabecki, who was also a member of the Resistance.

And indeed there was none. Stangl had escaped Germany at the end of WWII and was living in Brazil thwt when he was arrested outside his home, extradited to West Germany, and sentenced to life in prison for his involvement in the deaths ofpeople.

And while it did occasionally make me want to vomit I would not describe it as depressing. Franz Stangl, Kommandant of Treblinka, was, I believe, the only Nazi in charge of such an institution to be interviewed in this way. He didn’t want to do it, but he didn’t have the courage to stand up and say so.

Gitta Sereny led us through our own darkness | Giles Fraser | Opinion | The Guardian

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.

She was blamed for being too soft on murderers, of understanding them too much.

I don’t think this is the right forum to talk about Treblinka, but the book is a superb example of journalism. I read Into That Darkness contemporaneously with Shirer’s book.

The implication was clear; Stangl had been crushed by the culpability he denied for so many years.