Could a German Jew really have been a war crimes investigator for the British, responsible for tracking down Rudolf Höss, the commandant of Auschwitz?For two years I tried to meet the daughter of Rudolf Höss, the commandant of Auschwitz. Each time I called, she put me off, saying that she was too busy, or wasn’t feeling well. She lived in America, in an affluent suburb in Northern Virginia. Nazis and extermination camps were a world away. She didn’t speak about her childhood or father to her own family. Why would she talk to a journalist?I was researching a story about my great-uncle, Hanns Alexander, a German Jew who had fled Berlin for London in the 1930s and who, I heard, was responsible for tracking down and capturing Höss. I was attempting to discover if the story was true.Höss’s daughter, Brigitte, had grown up in the family villa, adjacent to the main camp, less than 200 yards from the crematoria. She had lived there from 1940 to 1944, between the ages of seven and 11.She agreed to the interview. When the day arrived, I decided not to confirm beforehand. I was so close. What if she pulled out? Instead, I went …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books