"Und Sie Hatten Nie Gewissenbisse?" Die Biographie Von Rudolf Hoss Und Die Frage Nach Seiner Verantwortung Vor Gott Und Den Menschen

By Hughes, John Jay | The Catholic Historical Review, January 1999 | Go to article overview

"Und Sie Hatten Nie Gewissenbisse?" Die Biographie Von Rudolf Hoss Und Die Frage Nach Seiner Verantwortung Vor Gott Und Den Menschen


Hughes, John Jay, The Catholic Historical Review


"Und Sie hatten nie Gewissensbisse?"Die Biographie von Rudolf Hof und die Frage nach seiner Verantwortung vor Gott und den Menschen. By Manfred Deselaers. (Leipzig: Benno Verlag. 1997. Pp. 424. DM 39,-.) The Nazi concentration camp Commandant in the film Schindler's List is portrayed as a sadistic killer who, for amusement, shoots prisoners at random from the front porch of his house with a telescopic rifle. Following the camp's liberation he is shown standing beneath a gallows with a noose around his neck, clutching a rosary. Rudolf H6g, Commandant at Auschwitz, shot no prisoners for amusement. He ended, however, like the colleague portrayed in the film. Ho, the subject of this gripping book by a priest of the Aachen diocese who has lived at Auschwitz since 1990, was responsible for cruelty on a monumental scale. But he was no sadist and was not personally cruel. Examining this paradox is a central theme of Deselaers' work. He begins with a 200-page biography of Hbg, based on the autobiography which he wrote in prison at Krakow before his trial at Warsaw, on the records of the psychiatrist and prosecutor who questioned Hi)if before his execution in the Auschwitz concentration camp on April 16, 1947, and on interviews with Auschwitz survivors. Ho was unique among major Nazi criminals: he denied nothing and took full responsibility for his crimes.

Hog was the product of a Catholic upbringing so strict that it may be said to have substituted fanaticism for love: his father vowed that young Rudolf would become a priest. Deselaers sees a key to Ho's early abandonment of Christian faith, and his later fanatical devotion to the Nazi idols of Volk and Blut, in this lack of love in his formative years. A friend of Bormann and Himmler in the 1920's, HoB joined the SS in 1934 and served at Dachau and Sachsenhausen before being appointed Commandant at Auschwitz in 1940. That the camp's machinery of death functioned so well was due to his organizational ability, hard work, and unremitting pursuit of the ideal imparted to Hof* by his SS training: "I wanted to be notorious for toughness, never soft."

The lengths to which HoB took this toughness may be seen in his account of the execution of a fellow SS-officer at Sachsenhausen shortly after the outbreak of war in 1939. The victim, in his mid-thirties with a wife and three children, had been ordered to arrest a former communist. Because the man had been a friend, he permitted him to take leave of his wife at home. The prisoner escaped. HoB commanded the firing squad at the officer's execution. "Only the day before we had sat in the mess, chatting about the executions we had to carry out. Now it was his turn. It required all the self-discipline I could muster to place my pistol on his temple for the coup de grace, so that the bystanders would not see how upset I was, HoB wrote. His greatest mistake, HoB lamented repeatedly, was not to have found the courage to tell his superiors early on that he was unfit for concentration camp work, and request transfer to military duties.

Hog went underground at war's end, but was arrested in March, 1946, on a farm near Flensburg, on the German-Danish frontier. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

"Und Sie Hatten Nie Gewissenbisse?" Die Biographie Von Rudolf Hoss Und Die Frage Nach Seiner Verantwortung Vor Gott Und Den Menschen
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.