Reading anything Holocaust-related is emotionally difficult. Reading the riveting, recently published Hanns and Rudolf by Thomas Harding, is no different. Yet, something sets this book apart. I read it in one sitting this past Sunday.
Echoing the style of another riveting book, Lawrence and Aaronsohn by Ronald Florence, Hanns and Rudolf is a dual biography, interweaving the personal stories of Nazi SS officer Rudolf Hoss (whose name is spelled in various ways) and a Jewish German turned captain in the British army, Hanns Alexander. The books leads up to the convergence of these two parallel lives.
Although the book is researched meticulously and is a historical record, it is a history veiled as a series of vignettes with the pace of a thriller, even though you know in advance what the outcome will be.