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Final Verdict

A Holocaust Trial in the Twenty-first Century

Tobias Buck



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Weidenfeld & Nicolson
01 March 2024
'[A] gripping and fascinating book' JAMES HOLLAND, DAILY TELEGRAPH, 5
* review

'A brilliant book . . . timely . . . gripping' RACHEL COOKE, OBSERVER

'A thrilling read ' PHILIPPE SANDS, author of EAST WEST STREET

On 17 October 2019, in Hamburg's imposing criminal justice building, a trial laden with extraordinary historical weight begins to unfold. Bruno Dey stands accused of being involved in a crime committed over seven decades ago: the murder of at least 5,230 inmates at Stutthof, the Nazi concentration camp in present-day Poland. Only seventeen at the time, Dey was a member of the SS unit responsible for administering the camp. Though he concedes to his role as a guard, he adamantly denies responsibility for the killings.

Dey's trial comes at a poignant moment. As the last members of the war generation - both victims and perpetrators - disappear, so does their first-hand knowledge of the Holocaust's horrors. Beyond its immediate legal implications, the trial stirs profound questions that resonate not only within the realms of German history, politics and collective memory but also within the author's own family. Tobias Buck revisits the silence that surrounds his family's experience during the Nazi period - and his German grandfather's role and responsibility. Through the lens of this riveting courtroom drama, Final Verdict explores the trial's broader significance, both on a political and personal level, and invites us to grapple with the question of whether it is right to prosecute Bruno Dey more than seven decades after he stood guard at Stutthof, and, perhaps more importantly, what we might have done in his place.
Imprint:   Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 230mm,  Width: 152mm,  Spine: 28mm
Weight:   420g
ISBN:   9781399604260
ISBN 10:   1399604260
Pages:   336
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Tobias Buck is the Managing Editor of the Financial Times. Born in Germany, he studied law in Berlin before joining the FT as a graduate trainee in 2002. He went on to serve as the FT's correspondent in Brussels, Jerusalem, Madrid and Berlin. His first book, After the Fall: Crisis, Recovery and the Making of a New Spain, was published in 2019.

Reviews for Final Verdict: A Holocaust Trial in the Twenty-first Century

"Final Verdict is a thrilling read. It is a book that raises a myriad of fascinating questions and human dramas, beautifully constructed and enticingly written -- PHILIPPE SANDS, author of EAST WEST STREET Through a riveting account of the trial of 93-year-old Bruno Dey, a guard at Stutthof concentration camp when he was 17 in 1944, ""the smallest of small cogs"" in the SS hierarchy, Buck compellingly shows how History is always present, never past -- CATRINE CLAY, author of THE GOOD GERMANS Timely and deeply thought-provoking, The Last Verdict examines how German courts let hundreds of thousands of Holocaust perpetrators off the hook until only a few low-level concentration camp guards remained alive to prosecute. Tobias Buck navigates the thicket of thorny questions surrounding this vexed and vexing history with great scope and sensitivity -- PHILIP GOUREVITCH, author of WE WISH TO INFORM YOU THAT TOMORROW WE WILL BE KILLED WITH OUR FAMILIES"

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