Hampstead Garden Suburb Synagogue
The Spiro Ark and the HGSS invite you to a discussion
"Narrating A Significant Past"
Mary Fulbrook (Author)
Dr Zoe Waxman (Historian of the Holocaust - Royal Holloway - University of London)
Dr Shirli Gilbert (Historian - University of Southampton)
Chaired by Dan Carrier (Journalist - Camden New Journal)
celebrating the publication of
A SMALL TOWN NEAR AUSCHWITZ
Ordinary Nazis and the Holocaust
By MARY FULBROOK
The Silesian town of Bedzin lies a mere twenty-five miles
from Auschwitz; through the linked ghettos of Bedzin and its
neighbouring town, some 85,000 Jews passed on their way to slave
labour or the gas chambers. The principal civilian administrator
of Bedzin, Udo Klausa, was an ordinary family man without whose
help, and those of thousands like him, the murderous plans of the
Nazi elite could never have been fully realized.
A Small Town Near Auschwitz re-creates Udo Klausa's
story. Using a wealth of personal letters, memoirs, testimonies,
interviews and other sources, Mary Fulbrook pieces together his
role in the unfolding stigmatization and degradation of the Jews
under his authority, as well as the heroic attempts at resistance on
the part of some of the victims of Nazi racial policies in this area.
She also gives us a revealing insight into the inner conflicts of a
Nazi functionary who, throughout, considered himself a 'decent'
man. And she explores the conflicting memories and evasions of
his life after the war.
This account is no ordinary historical reconstruction.
For Fulbrook did not discover Udo Klausa amongst the archives.
She has known the Klausa family all her life. She had no inkling
of her subject's true role in the Third Reich until a few years
ago, a discovery that led directly to this inescapably personal