Barbara Cherish's upbringing in Nazi-occupied Poland was one of relative wealth and comfort. But her father's senior position in the Nazi Party meant that she and her brothers and sisters lived on a knife edge. In 1943 he became commandant of perhaps the most infamous of all the concentration camps: Auschwitz. The author tells her father's story with clarity and without judgement, detailing his relationship with his family and his unceasing love for his mistress, as well as the very separate life he led as a senior officer of the SS. Captured by the US Army at the end of the war, he was held at Dachau and Nuremberg before being extradited to Poland. He was tried in the `Auschwitz Trial' at Krakow, found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity and executed in January 1948. A unique insider's view of the dark heart of the Third Reich, it is also a heartbreaking tale of a family torn apart that will open the eyes of even the most well-read historian.
Barbara Cherish lives near San Diego, California.