Bleakley offers welcome insight into Hungary and Germany’s uneasy alliance, how the spread of antisemitic ideology facilitated the state-sponsored genocide of millions of Jews, and how even these survivors’ corroboration of earlier escapees’ reports were met withy skepticism. Throughout Bleakley reminds readers of how easily people can overlook atrocity until they feel a personal connection. One striking scene finds Mordowicz desperately trying to convince “the pope’s special nuncio” of the scope of the Nazis’ murders—and the monsignor, discovering that the killing extends to priests, collapsing into a faint.
The focus, though, is on the escape and the politics of Nazi-allied Hungary, which had been deporting Jews to the camps by the thousands—and how the act of bearing witness saved lives and, eventually, helped secure the prosecution of Nazi officials. Especially revealing is Bleakley’s consideration of the role of the Hungarian regent, Miklos Horthy, in the earlier deportation of Hungarian Jews to the camps, and how the Hungarian Holocaust was a culmination of Horthy’s political decisions and bureaucratic corruption, along with expansionist and antisemitic ideologies. The Auschwitz Protocols digs deeply into this, while standing as a compelling human story and an urgent reminder of the power of exposing tyranny.
Takeaway: The urgent story of escaping and exposing Auschwitz, and a race to save Hungary’s Jews.
Great for fans of: Jonathan Freedland’s The Escape Artist, Gbor Kdr’s The Holocaust in Hungary.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A
. An interview with me on what the book is about and why I wrote it can be found on the website for History Unplugged Podcast. The date it was aired was Aug. 18, 2022