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Syracuse University Press

Meeting: An Auschwitz Survivor Confronts an SS Physician

Meeting: An Auschwitz Survivor Confronts an SS Physician

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Fifty years after the war Dagmar Ostermann, a former prisoner at Auschwitz-Birkenau, and Hans Wilhelm Münch, former Nazi and SS physician, talk face to face.

In this rare interview Münch--the only SS member acquitted during the 1947 Cracow war crimes trial refers to himself as a "victim," claiming that because he had to follow orders he was "no less a victim than his prisoners."

The Meeting grew out of a documentary film in which Münch was first interviewed by Viennese filmmaker Bernhard Frankfurter. As head of the Waffen SS Hygiene Institute Münch had controlled hundreds of lives. Intrigued by Münch's responses, Frankfurter arranged for Ostermann, whose mother was German and her father Jewish, to conduct a book-length interview, for which he provided a concluding essay.

The dramatic structure of the discussion follows the events of the Nazi occupation chronologically. As Ostermann initiates questions regarding reasons for Münch's involvement (Was it a conscious endeavor? Did he participate willingly?), the book adds important new information to the testimonial literature of the Holocaust.

Author: Bernhard Frankfurter
Publisher: Syracuse University Press
Published: 02/01/2000
Pages: 208
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 1.06lbs
Size: 9.00h x 6.00w x 0.63d
ISBN: 9780815606048

Review Citation(s):
Booklist 01/01/2000 pg. 867

About the Author

Bernhard Frankfurter was an international film director whose documentary film credits include Capitalism in Thirds (1975), On the Road fo Hollywood (1982), SS Nr . .. . Terminal Auschwitz (1984), and Love Life-Live Death (1989). Before his death in 1999, he was also active as an editor, columnist, and scriptwriter, and he founded the Eastern-Western Media Network in 1994.

Susan E. Cernyak-Spatz
is professor emerita of the Department of Foreign Languages at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She is the author of numerous articles and books, including German Holocaust Literature and Hitler's Gift to the Jews: Translation of Norbert Troller Diaries.

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