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The Fake Prison Doctor of Auschwitz (Hardback)

Uncovering the Truth Behind Holocaust Fraudsters

Military P&S History > By Century > 20th Century WWII

By Bogdan Musial
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 200
Illustrations: 32 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781399044059
Published: 30th July 2024

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After over half a century of secrecy, a Swiss bank safe was opened, it contained the long-lost research notes of Josef Mengele, as well as those of his chief assistant in Auschwitz. They had been deposited there by the assistant who himself had been a Jewish doctor. Sent to Auschwitz, he was forced to participate in Josef Mengele’s gruesome human experiments. Following the war, he completely disappeared, assuming a new identity and shrouding himself in silence. He did write his story down, but ordered the documents to be sealed away until decades after his death. With the release date drawing closer, his granddaughter, a well-connected Vatican doctor, wanted to have the documents examined by a professional historian.

Thus, a great investigation was launched to track him down and pin down his place in the medical system in Auschwitz and the horrendous medical experiments conducted there. However, after some time, doubts regarding the authenticity of the documents began to emerge. Thus, what promised to be a sensational historical breakthrough, soon turned into a criminal investigation into one of the greatest historical fraud attempts in recent decades.

At the end of the second investigation, the person behind the forged documents was brought to trial and sentenced on 22 counts of fraud. This book thoroughly examines the way the fraud evolved over the span of three decades and how it succeeded in convincing so many people, while also comparing it to other historic hoaxes, particularly those concerning the Holocaust.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This book was completely intriguing and I was drawn in from the start. Like a lot of people, I couldn't believe the atrocities that took place in Auschwitz, and particularly at the hands of Dr Mengele. To read about memoirs from his assistant was very interesting and shocking. Then came the twist. Not to give away any spoilers, but what came next was shocking. How anyone could do that, and create such an elaborate plan and deceive so many people, just doesn't make sense to me. There are truly heartless people in this world, but I like to think there are more good people than bad.

NetGalley, Cathy Mincher

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The Fake Prison Doctor of Auschwitz - Uncovering the Truth Behind Holocaust Fraudsters by Bogdan Musial took me by surprise and shocked me to my core. For a person to create fraudulent records based on true facts in order to profiteer from one of the greatest atrocities of all time is absolutely mind-shattering. How can anywone do this? Why? That is exactly what this book does, it tells the story, step by step of how Professor Salamon Ferencz Fulop Grosz Chorin (who changed his name to Ferencz Kiss during rising anti-semitism in 1931) was betrayed while on a visit to Budapest and as such, claimed he became the assistant to the Angel of Death - Dr Josef Mengele whose inhumane and unethical experiments shook the world to its core.

However, despite initial intrigue and excitement, the author tells of how cracks began to show in the narrative, which ultimately ended in Professor Kiss being charged with 22 counts of fraud.

I was left utterly bewildered by this book. Highly detailed, it describes many of the sickening practices undertaken in Auschwitz and the international condemnation of the fraud. A fascinating account of one of the darkest times in global history and those who would seek to take advantage of it.

NetGalley, Ink Reads

Absolutely fascinating. I particularly enjoyed learning about the logistics of gaining access to the historic materials and even more intriguing was the role of the Vatican. As with all Holocaust memoirs, it is so important that we keep these accounts at front of mind in every generation so we never forget what happened.

NetGalley, Louise Gray

About Bogdan Musial

Born in communist Poland in 1960, Bogdan Musial worked as a coal miner and took part in the anti-communist Solidarity movement before fleeing to Germany in 1985. In the West, he studied history in Hanover and Manchester, earning his doctorate with a thesis on the Holocaust in German-occupied Poland (1998), becoming a professor at Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw (2010-2015). He has published numerous works on the Holocaust and German, Soviet and Polish history.

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