Biography[ edit ] Sereny was born in Vienna , Austria in After writing about the rally for a class assignment she was given Mein Kampf to read by her teacher so she might be able to understand what she saw there. After the Nazi takeover of Austria in , she moved to France , where she worked with orphans during the German occupation until she had to flee the country because of her connection to the French Resistance. Among her tasks was reuniting with their biological families children who had been kidnapped by the Nazis to be raised as " Aryans ". The poster of Che Guevara on a red background  is one of his best known creations. From the mid-sixties and throughout the s she wrote extensively for The Daily Telegraph Magazine under the editorship of John Anstey.
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Shelves: world-war-two , holocaust Perhaps the definition of a worthy book about the Holocaust is that it leaves you asking more questions than it answers. That, ultimately, it is unsatisfactory. Satisfaction, after all, allows one to move on. The author of Into the Darkness conducts a series of interviews with Franz Stangl, the kommandant of Treblinka and various people who knew him, including one Jewish man who survived the death camp.
Before the Anschluss Stangl was a policeman in Austria. When the Germans arrived he was on a Perhaps the definition of a worthy book about the Holocaust is that it leaves you asking more questions than it answers. When the Germans arrived he was on a Gestapo hitlist for his part in the arrest of an influential Austrian Nazi. Unlike a couple of his fellow policemen on the list who were murdered he escaped by dubiously being backdated as a Nazi member.
Hardly the most suitable CV for a death camp commandant. It remains a mystery why he was chosen for the post. How he managed to escape trial until Is another mystery. He was living in Brazil, registered under his real name with the Austrian embassy and the Brazilian authorities. Anyone could have found him in twenty four hours. From to he enjoyed what his wife called the best years of his life. She, though patently an ambitious woman, was less of a Nazi than most of her neighbours and her sister married a Jew after the war.
Both husband and wife attributed the establishment of the state of Israel to the Holocaust. You could imagine the husband coming up with similar outrageously callow justifications as he watched the trains arrive at Treblinka.
The book also studies the role the Vatican played in helping former Nazis to escape. Mostly German priests. This is how Stangl escaped.
Perhaps the most horrifying conclusion one draws from reading this is that, yes, the Holocaust could happen again because fundamentally decent people in normal times can be persuaded to do unthinkably grotesque things in times of madness.
A mild mannered eye surgeon and his sophisticated British wife with Princess Diana aspirations become under stress a mass murderer and his supportive female consort.
She passed away in England aged 91, following a long illness. Gitta attributed her fascination with evil to her own experiences of Nazism as a child of central Europe in the early 20th century. Hers was not a happy childhood. She was born in Vienna, the daughter of a beautiful Austrian actress, whom she later described as "without moral opinions", and a wealthy Hungarian landowner. Her father, Gyula, died when she was a child; her elder brother left home at 18 and disappeared from her life; Gitta herself was sent to Stonar House boarding school in Sandwich, Kent, an experience she remembered with some affection. In , while changing trains in Nuremberg on a journey Gitta Sereny was an Austrian born journalist, biographer and historian.
Into That Darkness
Into That Darkness: An Examination of Conscience