The Auschwitz Kommandant: A Daughter's Search for the Father She Never Knew

The Auschwitz Kommandant: A Daughter's Search for the Father She Never Knew

Barbara U. Cherish

Language: English

Pages: 264

ISBN: 0752457551

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The true story of a girl's upbringing as the daughter of the commandant of Auschwitz

Barbara Cherish's upbringing in Nazi-occupied Poland was one of relative wealth and comfort—but her father's senior position in the Nazi Party meant that she and her brothers and sisters lived on a knife edge. In 1943 he became commandant of perhaps the most infamous of all the concentration camps: Auschwitz. The author tells her father's story with clarity and without judgment, detailing his relationship with his family and his unceasing love for his mistress, as well as the very separate life he led as a senior officer of the SS. Captured by the U. S. Army at the end of the war, he was held at Dachau and Nuremberg before being extradited to Poland. He was tried in the "Auschwitz Trial" at Krakow, found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity, and executed in January 1948. A unique insider's view of the dark heart of the Third Reich, it is also a heartbreaking tale of a family torn apart that will open the eyes of even the most well-read historian.
















list was compiled and a few days later a transport consisting of all the named informers of the Political Dept was scheduled to be shipped to the Flossenburg Concentration Camp. No one understood how this came about, especially not the informers. Then a sense of ‘breathing easy’ was felt throughout the camp. The action was known throughout the camp as ‘Explicit orders of the Kommandant’.6 In a letter sent from the resistance movement within the camp to the PWOK (Committee for the Assistance of

from the bunker. Both of these men survived their Auschwitz ordeal. Langbein went on to write several books on Auschwitz and the resistance in the concentration camps and Cyrankiewicz was premier of Poland for several terms, the last from 1954–70. Word came in January 1944 that there was to be another ‘Selection’ of many Jews. One thousand Jews were in the ‘bath barracks’ waiting to be sent to the gas chamber. Hermann Langbein intervened with the help of Dr Wirths, who then went to take this up

Poland in January 1948 as a war criminal. Out of grief, yet with shame, and with a longing that never faded but hurt more each year, Barbara follows the trail of her missing father. Years of searching through archives and talks with members of the family and contemporaries allowed her to discover important, so far unknown facts, and to listen to the opinions of others, as well as her father’s own words, his letters and diaries, his official correspondence, his hearings and statutory

Ilse dug through the layers of soft mulch. Our mother nursed the young soldier with special tenderness until his youthful strength returned. She brought his meals on a tray into the room, which had been occupied by her own son Dieter not so long ago. She did not allow Antje and Brigitte much contact with the young man as she was afraid they would not be able to keep the secret. When he was well enough to leave and return to his own family, my mother was deeply moved. Months after the war, and

hands stayed clean. Luschilein my beloved wife, I place these hands into yours and go with you wherever my chosen path may take me. You have always been with me and with me through this long captivity, and such bitter captivity it has been. Your beloved eyes always looked at me, calling, pleading and gave me the strength, the faith to God’s just ways. The Lord and you stood by me through my miserable loneliness and so I was never alone in my cell. Over one year in solitary and yet enough of this

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