Rudolf Hoess was the Commandant of Auschwitz during the time that the alleged homicidal gas chambers were in use. The details of Hoess’ capture and torture are gleefully recounted in the book, Hanns and Rudolf : the German jew and the hunt for the Kommandant of Auschwitz, by Thomas Harding. Alexander Hanns, the Nazi hunter that the book is about, was a German Jewish refugee.
From Harding’s book we can clearly see that Hoess was severely tortured before giving his confession:
The threat of bodily harm was probably not the only motivation for Hoess to give his confession and to later testify to affirm to what he confessed. From the book, Rudolf Höss, Carlo Mattogno: Commandant of Auschwitz—Rudolf Höss, His Torture and His Forced Confessions, we are given reasons why we can assume that the safety of Hoess’ family had been threatened:
Although coerced confessions are not admissible in American courts Hoess’ confession was used as evidence at the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg and the American presence as the trials made no objections to using such evidence. There are many other examples of how these trails were unethical and illegitimate among those reasons is the fact that there were no neutral parties presiding over the trial.
Given the facts presented the confessions and testimony of Hoess can not be considered valid evidence for the claims made by orthodox Holocaust historians.