SOCIAL SCIENCES

East West Street: On the Origins of "Genocide" and "Crimes Against Humanity."

East West Street: On the Origins of "Genocide" and "Crimes Against Humanity." Knopf. May 2016. 448p. illus. maps. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780385350716. $32.50; ebk. ISBN 9780385350723. HIST
COPY ISBN
The Holocaust was a tragedy for whole cities and towns as well as individuals and their families. The contrast among these levels of devastation underpins this gripping book, which centers on the lives of Leon Buchholz, the author's maternal grandfather; Hersch Lauterpacht; and Raphael Lemkin—the latter two experts in international law and important figures in the Nuremberg Trials. All three once resided in what is today the Ukrainian city of Lviv. Their experiences and Sands's (Torture Team) efforts to uncover the secrets and half-truths in their family stories form this fascinating account of forgetting, forgiving, and moving on. Lauterpacht, a key figure in the British prosecuting team, worked to indict the Nazis for "crimes against humanity." U.S.-based Lemkin championed the term genocide, which he invented. Both helped build the structure under which future war crimes could be adjudicated internationally. Neither strictly memoir nor history, Sands's study achieves a balance between the individual and the political that brings the events of the Holocaust into new focus.
VERDICT Readers interested in history, political science, and/or religion shouldn't miss this compelling work with unforgettable characters.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.

Get access to 8000+ annual reviews of books, ebooks, and more

As low as $13.50/month