Hanns and Rudolf: The German Jew and the Hunt for the Kommandant of Auschwitz

  • by Thomas Harding
  • Narrated by Mark Meadows
  • 8 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Hanns Alexander was the son of a wealthy German family who fled Berlin for London in the 1930s. Rudolf Höss was a farmer and soldier who became Kommandant of Auschwitz and oversaw the deaths of over a million people. In the aftermath of World War II, the first British War Crimes Investigation Team is assembled to hunt down the senior Nazi officials responsible for the greatest atrocities the world has ever seen.
Lieutenant Hanns Alexander is one of the lead investigators, Rudolf Höss his most elusive target. In this book, Thomas Harding reveals for the very first time the full, exhilarating account of Höss' capture. Moving from the First World War to bohemian Berlin in the 1920s, to the horror of the concentration camps and the trials in Belsen and Nuremberg, it tells the story of two German men whose lives diverged, and intersected, in an astonishing way.

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What the Critics Say

"A chilling portrait of the banality of evil" (Ben Macintyre, The Times Books of the Year)
"[an] extraordinary story...The tale of how he then doggedly tracked down Rudolf Hőss, the merciless commandant of Auschwitz is stunning - not just because it is so gripping, but because Harding interweaves Hanns' life story fascinatingly with Hőss's... A compelling, remarkable picture of war and its aftermath." (The Sunday Times Books of the Year)
"Harding sketches the parallel lives of the SS officer with notable skill. The book is a moving reminder of what an extraordinary amount Britain gained by the Jewish flight from Europe in the 1930s." (Max Hastings, Guardian Books of the Year)
"Hanns and Rudolf tells the mesmeric tale of his uncle's hunt for an arch perpetrator of the Jewish Holocaust." (John le Carré, Telegraph Books of the Year)
"This superlative look at two men - one, Rudolf Höss, the Kommandant of Auschwitz; the other, Hanns Alexander, the man who arrested him - makes for uncomfortable, but essential reading." (Stuart Evers, Netgalley Books of the Year)
"The detective story approach worked well in Thomas Harding's Hanns and Rudolf" (Ben Shephard, Observer History Books of the Year)
"An unexpected delight... It is amazingly well researched, resists judgement, and above all is an utterly compelling read." (David Shrigley, New Statesman Books of the Year)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Moving, shocking and completely absorbing


Definitely one of the best things I've listened to this year, its part historical, part thriller, part biography...... Its the entwining of the lives of two extraordinary people (extraordinary for very different reasons) that make this book so mesmerising. It really gives a sense of scale to the evil that is within living memory.

Incredible audiobook!
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- James "Audio Addict - Love to listen when going to work or working out, waking up or passing out."

A Story we all should read and remember

Would you consider the audio edition of Hanns and Rudolf to be better than the print version?

Not having read the book an impossible question to answer


Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The letters that Rudolph sent home while awaiting trial were proof he was like and other parent. But a parent who felt he was his duty to murder millions of innocent people.


Any additional comments?

This book should be on all school curriculum's It tells not only the story of the Nazi Hunter and the Nazi in a moving and thought provoking way, but also explains the history behind the terrible things that happened during the second world war. Lessons that we all should understand and never forget.

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- Darren

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-09-2013
  • Publisher: Audible Studios