This post is in response to Maureen's questions.
Due to privacy issues I can't get into the details of how I came in contact with Mr. Schiller. All I knew about him initially was that he was a former SS officer and I presumed him to have been a former Waffen SS combat officer. I presented him with the idea of compiling his memoirs and at first he was apprehensive. After some thought on his behalf he began relating his accounts of the invasions of Poland (1939), France and the Low Countries (1940) and the Soviet Union (1941). When he told me about the invasion of the Soviet Union I used the opportunity to ask him questions about the infamous Einsatzgruppen activities, the Commissar Order and what his personal opinions were during the war regarding the Jews and subjugated populations. 4 months passed before I heard from him again.
I used those 4 months to research his career independently and learned he had been a member of the SS Totenkopfverbande (The SS Death's Head Division) responsible for the concentration camps, deportations and liquidations. When I confronted him about this he did not deny it. I encouraged him to proceed with his memoirs but he was very reluctant. After a few more weeks he guardedly told me what he wished to speak about and within 2 years he was telling me everything. We restarted his memoirs and ended up with Directive 19.
Mr. Schiller was NOT untruthful about his service with the Waffen SS - he had simply chosen to omit his involvement with the Totenkopfverbande. Once he agreed to full disclosure we were off and running with his memoirs.
It took 6 years to finish the book. 4 years were spent recording his memoirs via letters, emails, telephone conversations and face to face interviews conducted in Germany. Once we had the information it was necessary to put it in chronological order and verify the facts. We spent countless hours sifting through Polish, Russian, German, French, British, Dutch, Belgian, Ukrainian and American records and archives to verify his accounts. I also spoke with some of the personalities he mentioned in the book to verify Mr. Schiller's claims.
Perhaps the most difficult part of the transcription process was rendering the conversations between Mr. Schiller and other personalities in the book. In most cases I could not verify the actual words used or accurately describe reactions and responses. Mr. Schiller related the conversations to the best of his memory, however, they remain subjective to his recollections.
Much of the research was deductive. For example, in Chapter Nine on Page 130, Mr. Schiller spoke of having dinner with Heinrich Himmler, Max Burger, Amon Goth, Odilo Globocnik and Adolf Eichmann near Auschwitz in Poland. Beyond Mr. Schiller's word we had no reference to this meeting taking place. However, after reviewing archival Third Reich records we arrived at the following:
1) Himmler and Eichmann were in southwest Poland during the time in question. The records DO NOT state where exactly or what they had gone to Poland for.
2) Goth and Globocnik had departed the Lublin district and were dispatched to the Auschwitz area on orders from Himmler simultaneous to Himmler's and Eichmann's arrival at the same location.
3) Max Burger departed Berlin for Auschwitz to review industry contracts inside the concentration camp and was present in the area when this dinner/meeting took place.
4) Mr. Schiller was inspecting Auschwitz at the time in question.
Deductively, Himmler, Eichmann, Burger, Goth, Globocnik and Schiller were in the exact area at the same time. It is reasonable to conclude the dinner/meeting took place. There is nothing that contradicts Mr. Schiller's account but there is evidence to support the attending parties were present.
Much of the research cross-checked the whereabouts of other parties mentioned in the accounts. We also obtained a plethora of trial documentation and were able to verify many of Mr. Schiller's accounts based on evidence used against him during his War Crimes trial in Poland. Many current military and police museums in Europe supplied documentation as well as several of the concentration camps.
Research and diligence was the key to completing this book. It was critical to verify the accounts.
I hope this helps you.