Book Review

Review: Auschwitz: A Doctor’s Eye Witness Account by Dr. Miklos Nyiszli

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: History, no language, very sensitive topics
Length: 222 pages
Author: Dr. Miklos Nyiszli, Tibere Kremer (Translator), Bruno Bettelheim (Foreword), and Richard Seaver (Introduction)
Publisher: Arcade Publishing
Release Date: September 1st, 2007
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


When the Nazis invaded Hungary in 1944, they sent virtually the entire Jewish population to Auschwitz. A Jew and a medical doctor, the prisoner Dr. Miklos Nyiszli was spared death for a grimmer fate: to perform “scientific research” on his fellow inmates under the supervision of the man who became known as the infamous “Angel of Death” – Dr. Josef Mengele. Nyiszli was named Mengele’s personal research pathologist. In that capactity he also served as physician to the Sonderkommando, the Jewish prisoners who worked exclusively in the crematoriums and were routinely executed after four months. Miraculously, Nyiszli survived to give this horrifying and sobering account.


This won’t really be that much of a review, because I feel it is unfair to the fact that this really happened. This is more of an expression of thoughts I had while reading. I’m not here to debate the choices Dr. Nyiszli made to keep himself (and his family) alive in one of the absolute bleakest moments in the world’s history.

The book is by no means easy to get through and I was on the verge of tears more than once. The stories of what went on at the camps were more than anyone should ever have to deal with (and that’s unfortunately an understatement).

It’s a thought provoking, grief-stricken, hug your loved ones tighter kind of book. This memoir is a true insider tale of what happened daily in Auschwitz. The horrid sense of personalities you get from the people surrounding the doctor will make you shiver. I have read a handful of historical things about WWII, but nothing to this extent. My mind is still trying to comprehend the atrocities that he witnessed and had to commit.

This book will make you uncomfortable. It will make you think. These kind of books can’t be called “good books.” A memoir such as this needs to be read if only to remind us that this did happen, and to ensure that history never repeats itself.

Overall audience notes:

  • Mature and sensitive topics
  • Violence: gas chambers, mass murders, shootings, executions, starvation, and more.
  • No language, written in a detached, clinical perspective

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