New Book Profiles Jewish Nazi Hunter Who Aided Capture of Auschwitz Commander Rudolph Höss
by Joshua Levitt
A new book, recently published, profiles a little known yet instrumental figure in the capture of notorious Nazi, head of the Auschwitz concentration camp, commander Rudolph Höss, the UK’s Daily Mail reported.
Hanns Alexander was a German-born Jew who moved to the UK in 1936, served in the British Army in World War II and, unbeknownst to many until his death in 2006, when the details of his past were revealed in a eulogy, he worked as a translator for a team of Nazi hunters in 1945 that brought Höss to trial from which he ultimately received a death sentence for his crimes against humanity.
Related coverageSeptember 29, 2016 7:40 pm
The book, Hanns And Rudolf: The German Jew And The Hunt For The Kommandant Of Auschwitz, was written by Thomas Harding, Alexander’s grand nephew.
In 1939, Hanns and his twin brother Paul volunteered for the Auxiliary Military Pioneer Corps, a unit of Jewish refugees who wanted to fight the Nazis, The Daily Mail said. By the end of the war, after having taken part in the D-Day landings in Normandy and the liberation of the Bergen Belsen concentration camp, Hanns Alexander was chosen to join a 12-man team of Nazi hunters as their translator
The capture of Höss, who was also the mastermind behind the use of Zyklon B gas to kill Jews, was achieved through pressuring the Nazi’s family to disclose where he was living, on a farm under a new name.
Höss was tried at Nuremberg, and then by Poland, where he was accused of murdering three million people. Höss was sentenced to death and hanged immediately adjacent to the crematorium of the former Auschwitz I concentration camp.