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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Could he have gotten transferred to another program? Feb 23, Richard Burger rated it really liked it.

Gitta Sereny

But her writing was driven by something much deeper than soft-hearted liberal understanding. One of the most fascinating aspects to me was that there were certain moments when Stangl could have refused to cooperate without sacrificing himself or his family.

This requires an understanding of how evil is allowed to persist. Like better served over Gitta Sereny’s book is a thoughtful, scrupulously researched look into the heart of darkness, providing a psychological portrait of Franz Stangl, a man responsible for managing the business of running various of Hitler’s death “camps,” as the Nazis perversely called their death factories, where the business of killing on a massive scale was carried out routinely with deliberate, carefully designed intent.

His method was to get them to talk, not to guide their conversation: Perhaps the most horrifying conclusion one draws from reading this is that, yes, the Holocaust could happen again because fundamentally carkness people in normal times can be persuaded to do unthinkably grotesque things in times of madness.

Stangl’s wife, Therese, recounts a conversation with her husband she had after he received his appointment at the Sobibor extermination camp: Ino many of his interviewees accepted no guilt at all, darknsss denied and denied and clung to ‘just following orders’ and ‘what could I have done?

Modellino del campo di concentramento di Sobibor. Sereny’s intellectual and moral certainty is compelling and, for a modern reader, extraordinary. Both resisted the easy characterisation of evil as something done by people with horns and funny accents: His Battle with Truth. I have never intentionally hurt anyone, myself. She also reported on the trials in Germany darjness Third Reich functionaries, including concentration camp staff, such as Franz Stangl, the former commandant of Sobibor and Treblinka.


Of course, there’s some truth in this notion, the most tragically extreme exoneration of the old adage darknesd every cloud has a silver lining, but it was perhaps the voicing of this idea as a kind of fabric softener which brought home how easily both husband and wife were able to take shelter in insensitivity.

Sereny found Stangl had an amazing memory for names – not so for dates or events. For beneath the Austrian courtesies Franz Stangl suffers from a wir haben’s nicht gewusst type of selective amnesia, until dsrkness dies of heart failure a few days after Sereny makes her farewell.

As the book progressed I found Inho was becoming much more interested in what Stangl’s wife was saying than Stangl himself who on the whole was resorting to the usual smokescreening tactics of a guilty conscience under attack.

Want to Read Currently Reading Read. They discuss a 16 yr.

Into That Darkness: An Examination of Conscience by Gitta Sereny

And the marvelous thing is that she gets him to admit that he is guilty. He didn’t want the initial assignment in the Euthanasia program serney his later transfers to Sobibor and then Treblinka, but he had to accept them. We had better read stories like this one, to be reminded of what might happen if we’re not very critical, well-read and insightful.

But usually there is truth in both of them.

Gitta Sereny led us through our own darkness

What’s riveting about this book is that Stangl is an everyman. Lo incontra in carcere e lo intervista per ore e giorni e settimane. Perhaps or perhaps not. She later described seeing a Jewish doctor she knew well being forced to clean pavements with a toothbrush; the terror became more personal after her serejy, Margit, with whom Gitta had a poor relationship, became engaged to Ludwig von Mises, the Jewish economist.

He chose not to do that, but rather to go along with the program.


There was no more time. It is a small possibility, but one never-the-less. Similarly, she disambiguates two sets of terms that have been conflated over time: Over the course of 60 hours spanning several sessions, the previously resolute Stangl finally broke down.

Sometimes the accounts agree perfectly. After the Anschluss, he managed to get his name on a list of those who had been secret Nazis all along, so that he could continue in his career. Mappa dei lager nazisti in Polonia. Gitta attributed her fascination with evil to her own experiences of Nazism as a child of central Europe in the early 20th century.

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 is an essential read for those interested in the Holocaust, but I think all the rest of Gitta Sereney’s books are pretty essential too.

Stangl does appear to be the truer embodiment of the Simon Wiesenthal observation that “one doesn’t need to be fanatical, sadistic, or mentally ill to murder millions; that it is enough to be a loyal follower eager to do one’s duty.

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

Before the Anschluss Stangl was serdny policeman in Austria. A remarkable and chilling deep dive into the life and relationships of a seemingly ordinary man who nevertheless lived a life both monstrous and banal. Who was I then, to doubt what was being done?

And that violence harms the offender as well as the victim; it is a lose-lose situation. Una ricerca durata anni.

He repeatedly insists that his role in the Death Camps was simply beyond his control and he could really not do anything gltta change his fate in the matter. I’ve just watched a documentary about Assad and his wife which contains further evidence of this disturbing phenomenon.