Come to This Court and Cry: How the Holocaust Ends

PublicAffairs: Perseus. Aug. 2022. 320p. ISBN 9781541702592. $30. HIST
This book by Politico contributor Kinstler starts with a scene from a World War II spy thriller that features the author’s grandfather, who had disappeared decades ago. She spends the book investigating how true that scene really was, tracing him in historical accounts and photographs, and trying to find out who he really was. Her probing leads to uncovering his connections to war crimes, the KGB, and the infamous “Butcher of Riga” Herberts Cukurs and his posthumous prosecution. She shows how firsthand accounts of the Holocaust are recorded, remembered, muddled with age, and difficult to use in criminal proceedings. She also examines how nations and communities reckon with the Holocaust, how the survivors’ stories are honored or distorted, and how some family secrets or mysteries are well-known to others. At times, there is an abundance of information, narratives get confusing as they skip around timelines and countries, and readers will occasionally forget who’s at the center of the book, but Kinstler enthralls audiences as clues are revealed.
VERDICT For those who were enthralled by Deborah Lipstadt’s Denial or Christopher Browning’s Ordinary Men.
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