Synopses & Reviews
At the terrible heart of the modern age lies Auschwitz, a name that has become synonymous with evil. Here the utopian twentieth-century dream of employing science and technology to improve and protect human life was inverted from the latter part of the 1930s through the end of the Second World War, as the same systems were manipulated in the cause of efficient mass slaughter. Historian Sybille Steinbacher's powerful and eminently important book details Auschwitz's birth, growth, and horrible mutation into a dreadful city. How it came to be and how what followed was allowed to occur is a story that everyone needs to understand and remember.
“The meaning of Auschwitz is in the details, which (Steinbacher) provides with clinical precision.” Publishers Weekly
“A thoughtful overview of a place terrible to rememberand one that must always be remembered.” Kirkus Reviews
At the terrible heart of the modern age lies Auschwitz. In a total inversion of earlier hopes about the use of science and technology to improve, extend, and protect human life, Auschwitz manipulated the same systems to quite different ends.
In Sybille Steinbacher's terse, powerful new book, the reader is led through the process by which something unthinkable to anyone on earth in the 1930s had become a sprawling, industrial reality during the course of the Second World War. How Auschwitz grew and mutated into an entire dreadful city, how both those who managed it and those who were killed by it came to be in Poland in the 1940s, and how it was allowed to happen, is something everyone needs to understand.
About the Author
Sybille Steinbacher is assistant professor in the Faculty of Modern and Contemporary History at the Ruhr University, Bochum. During 2004-5 she was a visiting fellow for European studies at Harvard University. She lives in Germany.