'Electrifying account' - Cynthia Ozick on #HannsAndRudolf

Hanns and Rudol fUS cover small.jpg

‘As the 20th century recedes, especially for the newest generations, its horrific record of the German abduction and mass murder of entire European Jewish populations grows more and more remote. “Never again” slides easily into “Let’s forget,” and the criminally explicit inferno of Auschwitz melts into lazily generalizing abstraction (“man’s inhumanity to man”). Yet Auschwitz-as-metaphor masks what Rudolf Höss, its overseer, speedily and savagely achieved: the industrialized annihilation of living Jewish families — children, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents — even as in the very pit of atrocity he gaudily sentimentalized his own family.

.

Thomas Harding’s Hanns and Rudolf not only declines to forget, but challenges and defies the empty sententiousness characteristic of those who privately admit to being “tired of hearing about the Holocaust.” In this electrifying account of how a morally driven British Jewish soldier pursues and captures and brings to trial the turn-tail Kommandant of Auschwitz, Thomas Harding commemorates (and, for the tired, revivifies) a ringing Biblical injunction: Justice, justice, shalt thou pursue.’ - - Cynthia Ozick , Short story writer, novelist, and essayist