Hanns and Rudolf- Thomas Harding
non fiction, biography
The true story of the German Jew turned English Nazi Hunter, Hanns Alexander, and his hunt for Rudolph Hoss, the Kommandant of Auschwitz.
Packed with constant references to primary sources, this is an exhaustively researched telling of Hoss's rise to Kommandant and Alexander's somewhat surprising role as a Nazi hunter. Both men change dramatically throughout the book. Hoss starts out as a farmer and his dedication to efficiency and reputation morphs him into the ruthless planner of Auschwitz and its extermination programme and then finally into a man escaping. Hanns changes from a fearful refugee who strives for assimilation into a hunter using all his resources into the aftermath of facing the face of Nazi atrocities in the face. Both men are steadfastly true to themselves and the primary sources make this a very engrossing read-almost like a spy thriller but true. I can't say that the prose was the best but Harding balances fact and storytelling with a good pace as well as presenting both the good and bad sides of both men (which made Hoss's actions all the more worse).