By his own admission, SS Kommandant Rudolf Hoss was history's greatest mass murderer, personally supervising the extermination of approximately two million people, mostly Jews, at the death camp in Auschwitz, Poland. Death Dealer is the first complete translation of Hoss's memoirs into English.
The Memoirs of Kommandant Rudolf Hoss were written between October 1946 and April 1947. At the suggestion of psychologist Professor Stanislaw Batawia and Professor Jan Sehn, the prosecuting attorney for the Polish War Crimes Commission in Warsaw, Hoss wrote explanations of how the camp developed, his impressions of the various personalities with whom he dealt, and even about the destruction of the millions in the gas chambers. This written testimony is perhaps the most important document attesting to the Holocaust, because it is the only candid, detailed, and (for the most part) honest description of the Final Solution from a high-ranking SS officer intimately involved in carrying out the plans of Hitler and Himmler.
With the cold objectivity of a common hit-man, Kommandant Hoss bloodlessly chronicles the discovery of the most effective poison gas and the technical obstacles that often thwarted his aim to kill as efficiently as possible. Staring at the horror without reacting, Hoss allows conditions in his camp to reduce human beings to walking skeletons, then he labels them as subhumans fit only to die. Readers will witness Hoss's shallow rationalizations as he tries to balance his deeds with his increasingly disturbed, yet always ineffectual, conscience.
Published here for the first time are several photographs, including those of Hoss, the Nazi occupation of Poland, and of the camp itself; original diagrams of the camps; the original minutes of the Wannsee conference; and Hoss's final letters.