Learn the Secrets of the Holocaust and the Blonde Beast!
Do you want to know more about the Holocaust? Are you fascinated by this dark chapter in human history? Do you find it hard to understand?
If so, then Irma Grese & Auschwitz: Holocaust and the Secrets of the the Blonde Beast is the book you’ve been looking for. It gives you an overview of the Second World War and describes the experience of the Holocaust. You’ll learn about Irma Grese, a female concentration camp guard who was notorious for her cruelty and dedication to the Nazi Party.
Because of her gender and youth, Irma Grese remains known today for her crimes against humanity in the camps of Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen. Executed at 22 years old, she was the youngest woman to die under British law in the 20th century.
Irma Grese has gained notoriety as a villain in many diaries, journals, and creative works of Holocaust survivors. She has been studied by historians, psychologists, and psychiatrists across the world. What could cause someone to act as she did? After listening to this book, you'll be able to decide for yourself.
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Quick and Dirty
This audiobook has the feel of several essays stitched together into a meandering narrative that covers topics as diverse, in scope and breadth, as the roots of anti-semitism and the nature of Irma Grese's relationship with her father - sometimes in the same sentence. The book even begins with an impossibly brief yet competent summary of the second world war and its antecedents, before eventually arriving at the book's central figure of Grese. One suspects that readers digging down to a level of historical granularity sufficient to reveal the likes of Irma Grese probably have a working knowledge of WWII, but I found myself - once the dismay of knowing that the subject about which I'd come to read would have to follow a full history of the second world war finally diminished - was curious to see if the author could pull it off. He totally did. It was a dizzying summation that I rather enjoyed.
But the telling of Irma's biography is a mess. It's not horrible or wholly incompetent, but it's a mess. If you're aware of this mess prior to pressing "play," I think the listening experience will be improved. And ultimately this book delivers the goods. Even history buffs well-versed in the holocaust will find cringy detail about Irma Grese. Her infamy is given shape, if not fully fleshed out. Some of her behavior, beyond the pale even of SS officers serving as concentration camp guards, feels artificially augmented with lurid details, but there's not too much. We are oft-reminded of Grese physical attributes and purported beauty, so stories of how the abuse of inmates brought her sexual excitement and gratification don't pass the eye test, but given the many substantiated claims, who knows... And there's a credible, if under-developed hypothesis about Grese's motives that is simple enough to feel credible: she was that horrible brew of mean and stupid found at the core of some many truly horrible people.
If you're up for short, scattered, sudo-scholarly account of a truly horrible person's life (with a history of western religion and WWII thrown in for good measure), you'll enjoy this audiobook. I did.
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- Debbie Brown
it was a good listen, interesting but honestly nothing I did not know already from about her so if you know a lot about the Holocaust all ready, it just saying what you've already known