Only four men commanded Nazi extermination (as opposed to concentration) camps. Franz Stangl was one of the. Gitta Sereny’s investigation of this man’s mind. Based on 70 hours of interviews with Franz Stangl, commandant of Treblinka (the largest of the five Nazi extermination camps), this book bares the soul. Gitta Sereny, CBE (13 March – 14 June ) was an Austrian-British biographer, Into That Darkness (also following an initial article for the Telegraph.

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They discuss a 16 yr. Stangl had escaped Germany at the end of WWII and was living in Brazil in when he was arrested outside his home, extradited to West Germany, and sentenced to life in prison for his involvement in the deaths ofpeople. Treblinka alone could’ve dealt with the 6. The paper signified darkjess he was a believer in God but agreed to break his affiliation tho the Catholic Church.

So she spent many hours with him. First, this is a personal account, so the depth of emotion from all participants is much more palpable. 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.

Could he have gotten transferred to another program? He said simply that the Nazis wanted the victims’ money. My only issue darlness the book is that Sereny tries a bit too hard to footnote and over giitta every detail that arises. Oct 29, Violet wells rated it really liked it Shelves: It is, I think, because of this universal acceptance of a false concept intto responsibility that Stangl himself until just before he diedhis family and — in a wider but equally, if not even more, thar sense — countless other people in Germany and outside it, have felt for years that what is decisive in law, and therefore in the whole conduct of human affairs, is what a man does on isolated occasions rather than what he is.

Yet their very talents and ambitions make his complicity in the war’s horrors all the more inexplicable, just as their postwar attempts to rebuild their lives seem somewhat hollow. The fact that people treated other people this way is difficult to understand. It is our work in this life to face up to this truth and do our best to work toward the former and away from the latter.


Really fascinating and upsetting. Well initially he could have switched to another assignment but then he would have been working for an SS official sereyn he felt was out to get him.

Into That Darkness

And that is a huge accomplishment, because it isn’t easy to understand what motivated a man like Stangl, what kept him loyal to and even proud of his “work,” and how he and his family Gitta Sereny is perhaps the most thorough, meticulous interviewer I’ve ever read.

She weaves the reports of many people who either knew Stangl or knew of him or whom he mentioned around his own story. Arendt portrayed Eichmann as something of a pure “desk murderer” based on his testimony, who was able to facilitate actions he probably couldn’t have carried out on his own volition.

Published January 12th by Vintage first published Jun 03, Steven Waters rated it really liked it. The bodies were cremated, and the ashes given to their relations.

Una ricerca durata anni. He has senior officers with a sense of duty eventually getting them under control. Gitta, eventually, was also obliged to flee, first across the Pyrenees to Spain, then to dereny US.

Could he have darlness worked less efficiently as many of his co-workers pointed out how good he was at organizing the camps?

He hasn’t been brainwashed by Nazi bile, he’s irritable rather than evil; he’s essentially a man of modest ambition who respects or is cowed by authority. And by telling Stangl’s story, she sheds new light on what the Holocaust was and gitts it was carried out by “ordinary men.

I added this book to my to-read list about a year ago but I have read a significant number of books on the Holocaust. By all accounts few survive including his own, Stangl never once physically harmed a Jew; he doesn’t appear to even have abused or raised his voice. Other accounts of Eichmann don’t bear this character portrait as accurate.

Sereyn more than a minute he started again, a half-hearted attempt, in a dull voice. When confronted with the idea of the Holocaust, I find the scope of the atrocities perpetrated against Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals,and others whom the Reich considered as “undesirables” is inconceivable. His method was to get them to seremy, not to guide their conversation: Sereny’s intellectual and moral certainty is compelling and, for a modern reader, extraordinary. The myth she seeks to expose is that evil people are somehow qualitatively different.


Gitta Sereny led us through our own darkness | Giles Fraser | Opinion | The Guardian

Stangl himself is fascinating. Some of her sentences are so thick with parenthetical phrases they’re hard adrkness read, and she sometimes dwells on small things. Mar 04, Mark Lisac rated it it was amazing. It is not hard to understand how this ca This book reminded me of Hannah Ahrendt’s phrase about “the banality of evil.

Into That Darkness: An Examination of Conscience

Sereny’s work also intricately examines the role of Pope Pius XII — something I previously knew little about, so if you’re into that you’ll enjoy that part as well. I’ll leave it to others to decide what the Pope could or should have done. He wasn’t ordered to do something he didn’t want to do.

Irving maintained a personal animosity for Sereny, whom he calls “that shriveled Nazi hunter “, for successfully refuting his claims since the publication of his book Hitler’s War. She took the reader on a journey not just into the dark soul of the Nazi guard, but also into a darkness that is our own.

So I try to cull the number of books that I read on the subject. Stangl died in of a heart attack, the day after Gitta Sereny had done her final interview, in which he had for the first time admitted some measure of guilt about his actions.

It remains a mystery why he was chosen for the post. Extermination camps were only there to exterminate. Based on 70 hours of interviews with Franz Stangl, commandant of Treblinka the largest of the extermination campsthis book bares the soul of a man who continually found ways to rationalize his role in Hitler’s final soulution.

Toward the end of that book his narrator talks about “some knowledge of yourself — that comes too late — a crop of unextinguishable regrets. And that is a huge accomplishment, because it isn’t easy to understand what motivated a man like Stangl, what kept him loyal to and even proud of his “work,” and how he and his family lived with the knowledge of what he was part of.

For the first time, in all these inro days, I had given him no help.