Note 033
by Joachim C. Fest

Hoss, Commandant of Auschwitz. In his final summing up Hoss points out again that he had never approved of the cruelties: 'I myself never maltreated a prisoner, far less killed one.' Precisely from this came his feeling that he had been not only a good SS leader in the sense of Himmler's conception but also a 'decent man'. Only in the two farewell letters which he wrote to his wife and children immediately before his execution does the shock over a life that had miscarried break through and he reaches at least the beginning of a moral appraisal of what he has done. He advises his wife and children to take another name: 'It is best that my name disappear forever with me.' Up to now the two letters have not been published in Germany.

From Chapter 22, Rudolf Höss , Part 3 of The Face Of The Third Reich by J.C. Fest -- See further Notes

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