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Come to This Court and Cry

How the Holocaust Ends

Linda Kinstler



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01 June 2022

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- When Kinstler begins to investigate her Grandfather's history and his role during the war as a member of the Latvian unit called Arajs Command, she finds herself being diverted by the story of Herbert Cukurs, a deputy commander in said unit, who was lured to Uruguay where he was assassinated for crimes committed during the war. Cukurs who was a Latvian hero before the war, similar to Charles Lindbergh, is presently going through an historical rehabilitation in Latvia where there has even being a musical written and performed in his honour. Kinstler looks at history and what happens when few victims remain, their memories get lost and history can be rewritten by those with the loudest voice. Reads like a thriller.  Greg

'A tremendous feat of storytelling, propelled by numerous twists and revelations, yet anchored by a deep moral seriousness . . . Enthralling' Guardian

'Part detective story, part family history, part probing inquiry into how best to reckon with the horrors of a previous century, Come to This Court and Cry is bracingly original, beautifully written and haunting. An astonishing book' Patrick Radden Keefe, author of Empire of Pain

To probe the past is to submit the memory of one's ancestors to a certain kind of trial. In this case, the trial came to me.

A few years ago Linda Kinstler discovered that a man fifty years dead - a former Nazi who belonged to the same killing unit as her grandfather - was the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation in Latvia. The proceedings threatened to pardon his crimes. They put on the line hard-won facts about the Holocaust at the precise moment that the last living survivors - the last legal witnesses - were dying.

Across the world, Second World War-era cases are winding their way through the courts. Survivors have been telling their stories for the better part of a century, and still judges ask for proof. Where do these stories end? What responsibilities attend their transmission, so many generations on? How many ghosts need to be put on trial for us to consider the crime scene of history closed?

In this major non-fiction debut, Linda Kinstler investigates both her family story and the archives of ten nations to examine what it takes to prove history in our uncertain century. Probing and profound, Come to this Court and Cry is about the nature of memory and justice when revisionism, ultra-nationalism and denialism make it feel like history is slipping out from under our feet. It asks how the stories we tell about ourselves, our families and our nations are passed down, how we alter them, and what they demand of us.

'Kinstler reminds us of the dangerous instability of truth and testimony, and the urgent need, in the twenty-first century, to keep telling the history of the twentieth' Anne Applebaum

'A masterpiece' Peter Pomerantsev
 Come to This Court and Cry: How the Holocaust Ends

Imprint:   Bloomsbury
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm, 
ISBN:   9781526612588
ISBN 10:   1526612585
Pages:   320
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Linda Kinstler is a contributing writer at the Economist's 1843 magazine. Her coverage of European politics, history and cultural affairs has appeared in the Atlantic, New York Times, Guardian, Wired, Jewish Currents and more. She is a PhD Candidate in Rhetoric at UC Berkeley and previously studied in the UK as a Marshall Scholar. She has received numerous fellowships and awards and has appeared on NPR, the BBC, CNN and MSNBC, among others. She lives in Washington, DC.

Reviews for Come to This Court and Cry: How the Holocaust Ends

Linda Kinstler has achieved something truly unusual: a book that captures the paradoxes and nuances of memory politics in contemporary Eastern Europe, while at the same time invoking the trauma that past tragedies leave on individuals and families. Using rigorous, evocative prose, she reminds us of the dangerous instability of truth and testimony, and the urgent need, in the 21st century, to keep telling the history of the 20th -- Anne Applebaum Obviously a masterpiece. A book that makes the Holocaust fresh, slipping seamlessly between story, thinking, politics, poetry and the personal -- Peter Pomerantsev, author of THIS IS NOT PROPAGANDA Before reading (devouring) Come to This Court and Cry, I wouldn't have thought a book like this was even possible. A moving family portrait on top of a sensational whodunit murder on top of a brilliant mediation on memory, the law, and identity? And yet here it is. Linda Kinstler has threaded the needle. This book is many things, and yet it fits together perfectly . . . It's a marvel -- Menachim Kaiser, author of PLUNDER In this searching and powerful book, Linda Kinstler sets out to solve the mystery of her grandfather's role in the genocide of Latvia's Jews during World War II. But the questions she ends up confronting - about national pride, the need for heroes and the elusiveness of the past - couldn't be more relevant in the 21st century. Come to the Court and Cry is an exemplary work of investigative journalism and historical research, showing why writers like Kinstler are needed now more than ever -- Adam Kirsch

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