The Holocaust Through Primary Sources

Voices From the Death Camp


Auschwitz: Voices from the Death Camp examines Auschwitz, the largest death camp of the Holocaust. It discusses the camp's construction and daily workings and explains how more than 1 million people were murdered there. 

The book also features true accounts from prisoners of the camp and Nazi perpetrators: 

>Rudolf Höss (the camp commandant), 

>Pery Broad (a camp official), 

> Kazimierz Albin (one of the first Polish prisoners),

>Andrey Pogozhev (a Russian POW), 

>Walter Winter (a Roma prisoner), 

>Dr. Miklos Nyiszli (a prisoner forced to work for Dr. Mengele), 

>Shlomo Dragon (a prisoner forced to work in the sonderkommando), 

>Anna Heilman (a prisoner whose sister participated in the 1944 uprising), 

>Primo Levi (a prisoner who became a famous writer), and 

>Éva Heyman (a prisoner who left behind a diary). 

Each chapter includes compelling primary source passages (often in the first person).


Selected as one of Pennsylvania State Library Association's Top 40 (or so) 2012 Titles (2013 PSLA Conference)

"Using prisoners’ personal accounts, James Deem details the horrors of the German death camp Auschwitz. Beginning with an introduction on the construction and expansion of the camp, each chapter focuses on an individual’s experience in the camp. This searing account concludes with an entry on visiting Auschwitz today and its emotional impact on the author. Well-chosen photos, chapter notes, glossary, additional resources, and index add value to this important book. Highly recommended for all middle school and high school libraries."

Review in TriState Reviews (TriState Young Adult Review Committee in PA, DE, and NJ; February 7, 2012):

"Subtitled 'Voices from the Death Camp,' this book relates the horrific events that occurred in Auschwitz during the Holocaust.... James M. Deem provides a brief, yet complete summary of  “Auschwitz I: The Administrative Center,” “Auschwitz II: The Death Camp,” Auschwitz III: Slave Labor Camps,” and “The End of Auschwitz.” Subsequent chapters relate the origins, construction and daily workings of the death camp through personal accounts and diary excerpts.

"The book is both exceptionally well written and exciting.  The book is remarkably nonjudgmental, non-sensationalized, and compassionately objective in its presentation of information. Each chapter offers the personal narratives of several of the active participants: Jewish, Polish, Gypsy prisoners, Soviet POWs, and Nazi officials and guards. First person accounts are presented in cursive script and discuss events, experiences, and outcomes. They share their feelings, fears and memories of Auschwitz and how their “selection” was made. The book ends with a timeline, chapter notes, glossary, further reading, and an index. This is a must purchase for any library."

Review from Reading Robin Blog (August 2012)

"A well-researched account of the Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz, based on eyewitness accounts. Commentary: This is one of the better books I’ve read on Auschwitz, mainly because it contains true accounts from prisoners and camp officials alike; it has a very well-rounded point of view. It does not contain the gruesome photos that many books on the Holocaust do, but that does not make these stories any less horrifying.  There are photos of the camps, the gas chambers, maps of the grounds, and more, where more than 1.1 million people met their deaths. One of the most intriguing and awful stories comes from Dr. Miklos Ngiszli, a Jewish doctor forced to work for the notorious Dr. Josef Mengele; I cannot imagine the unspeakable things this guy had to see and was forced to do to his own people. I even learned a few facts I had never heard of before–like the Nazi’s harvesting thousands of pounds of hair from the prisoners and shipping it off to make textiles (including uniforms) for the German army. *shudder* 

"This is a great book for gaining general knowledge about the Holocaust, particularly the concentration camps, and would be a wonderful resource for researchers, because of all the primary sources. It lends invaluable insight into the terror that was Auschwitz.  I recommend for grades 10 and up."


Association of Region XI School Libraries (October 2011)

"The format of telling the stories of the people makes it interesting and hard to put down."

Christian Library Journal (February/April 2012)

"The narrative, which is nonjudgmental and non-sensationalized, includes true accounts from prisoners of the camp . . . What sets Auschwitz by Deem apart from other titles is the view it provides in looking at this unspeakable horror through the eyes of survivors who had to watch those around them suffer and perish."

Library Media Connection (November/December 2011)

"This new series packs an emotional punch as it disseminates historical facts from multiple perspectives . . . These unique perspectives lend an authenticity and immediacy to these stories that can rarely be achieved through traditional nonfiction."

Southwest Ohio and Neighboring Libraries (October 3, 2011)

". . . a great asset to a library collection . . ."

Delaware County Library System (January 2012)

". . . a very useful source for research, and compelling reading for anyone interested in resistance movements and World War II and Holocaust history."

Denver Public Schools (December 12, 2011)

"This approach and format is much more extensive and personal than most Holocaust books for this age group, and will appeal to those who crave more depth and understanding."






Unless otherwise noted, all contents ©James M. Deem, 1988-2013. 

For permission to quote from or reproduce this material, please contact James M. Deem.

Be sure to visit James M. Deem's other website, The Mummy Tombs, for the most mummy information on the Internet.

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