'Anne Frank, Elie Wiesel, Primo Levi... In the light of Koch's scrupulous unearthings, we must now count the brief tormented life of Herschel Grynszpan among the lasting necessary chronicles.' Cynthia Ozick On the 7th November 1938, an impoverished seventeen-year-old Polish Jew living in Paris, obsessed with Nazi persecution of his family in Germany and, brooding on revenge and his own insignificance, bought a small handgun, carried it on the Metro to the German Embassy in Paris, and never before having fired a weapon, shot down the first German diplomat he saw. When the wounded official died two days later, Hitler and Goebbels used his death as their pretext for the state-sponsored wave of anti-Semitic violence and terror known as Kristallnacht, the pogrom that was the initiating event of the Holocaust. Overnight this obscure young man, Herschel Grynszpan, found himself world-famous, a face on front pages everywhere, and a pawn in the machinations of great power. Instead of being executed, he found himself a privileged prisoner whilst Hitler and Goebbels planned a show-trial intended to be the propaganda face of the Holocaust. The trial, planned to the last detail, was intended to prove that Jewish people had started the Second World War. Alone in his cell, Herschel soon grasped what the Nazis planned to do with him, and set out to wage a battle of wits against Hitler and Goebbels, knowing perfectly well that if he succeeded in stopping the trial, he would certainly be murdered. Until very recently, what really happened has remained murky. Hitler's Scapegoat, based on the best and most recent research, including access to a heretofore untapped archive compiled by a Nuremberg rapporteur named Gerald Schwab, tells Herschel's story in full for the first time in English.