Dan Stone, author of The Holocaust: An Unfinished History says:
Written in 1945, as the author was working as a physician, helping the liberating Red Army care for survivors of the camp, Last Stop Auschwitz is reckoned to be the only complete book written in Auschwitz during the camp’s existence. A thinly-veiled autobiography, the book recounts the experiences of ‘Hans’ and his wife Friedel, both deported to the camp from The Netherlands. Working as an inmate-physician in Auschwitz gave de Wind possibilities for survival that were denied many inmates, and in his postwar career as a psychiatrist he treated other Holocaust survivors and reflected on his own survival. His essay ‘Confrontation with Death’ (1949), included in the book, offers a remarkable analysis of survival, arguing in a way that will amaze readers of Viktor Frankl, that Auschwitz inmates survived not because of their ‘rich inner life’ but because they shrank themselves to a level of psychological ‘stupor’ that allowed them to function without thinking too deeply about what was happening around them. Last Stop Auschwitz is both a moving story and a powerful explanation of survival.
Eddy de Wind, a Dutch doctor and psychiatrist, was shipped to Auschwitz with his wife Friedel, whom he had met and married at the Westerbork labour camp in the Netherlands. At Auschwitz, they made it through the brutal selection process and were put to work. Each day, each hour became a battle for survival.
For Eddy, this meant negotiating with the volatile guards in the medical barracks. For Friedel, it meant avoiding the Nazis' barbaric medical experiments. As the end of the war approached and the Russian Army drew closer, the last Nazis fled, taking many prisoners with them, including Friedel. Eddy hid under a pile of old clothes and stayed behind. Finding a notebook and pencil, he began to write with furious energy about his experiences.
Last Stop Auschwitz is an extraordinary account of life as a prisoner, a near real-time record of the daily struggle to survive but also of the flickering moments of joy Eddy and Friedel found in each other. Documenting the best and the worst of humanity, it is a unique and timeless story that reminds us of what we as humans are capable of, but that there is hope, even in Hell.