A harrowing overview of the Holocaust

A harrowing overview of the Holocaust

History: The Holocaust, By Laurence Rees, Viking, €33.25

Any Jew sent to the Nazi extermination camp at Treblinka in occupied Poland had roughly a 99 per cent chance of being dead within three hours. Kalman Taigman, a 19-year-old arrival from the Warsaw Ghetto in 1942, was one of the lucky ones.

The SS ordered him to join their Sonderkommando, a group of young and healthy prisoners who were fit for manual labour. One of Taigman’s duties was to clean out the barracks where women had...

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