Linda Kinstler at Harvard Book Store
Come to This Court and Cry:
How the Holocaust Ends
in conversation with NORA CAPLAN-BRICKER
September 12, 2022
7:00 PM ET
Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
This event is free; no tickets are required.
Harvard Book Store welcomes LINDA KINSTLER—writer and Ph.D candidate in the Rhetoric Department at U.C. Berkeley—for a discussion of her new book Come to This Court and Cry: How the Holocaust Ends. She will be joined in conversation by NORA CAPLAN-BRICKER—writer and editor at Jewish Currents.
A Return to In-Person Events
Harvard Book Store is excited to be back to in-person programming. To ensure the safety and comfort of everyone in attendance, the following Covid-19 safety protocols will be in place at all of our Harvard Book Store events until further notice:
- Face coverings are required of all staff and attendees when inside the store. Masks must snugly cover nose and mouth.
About Come to This Court and Cry
In 1965, five years after the capture of Adolf Eichmann in Buenos Aires, one of his Mossad abductors was sent back to South America to kill another fugitive Nazi, the so-called “butcher of Riga,” Latvian Herberts Cukurs. Cukurs was shot. On his corpse, the assassins left pages from the closing speech of the chief British prosecutor at the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg:
“After this ordeal to which mankind has been submitted, mankind itself . . . comes to this Court and cries: ‘These are our laws—let them prevail!’”
Years later, the Latvian prosecutor general began investigating the possibility of redeeming Cukurs for his past actions. Researching the case, Linda Kinstler discovered that her grandfather, Boris, had served in Cukurs’s killing unit and was rumored to be a double agent for the KGB. The proceedings, which might have resulted in Cukurs’s pardon, threw into question supposed “facts” about the Holocaust at the precise moment its last living survivors—the last legal witnesses—were dying.
Rich with scholarly detective work and personal reflection, Come to This Court and Cry is a fearlessly brave examination of how history can become distorted over time, how easily the innocent are forgotten, and how carelessly the guilty are sometimes reprieved.
Praise for Come to This Court and Cry
“In her completely absorbing and profound debut, Kinstler sets out to solve a mystery—journeying from a murder scene in Uruguay to the former killing fields of Europe to unravel a family secret about her late grandfather—and in the process unearths vexing questions about the past and how we understand it. 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
“Obviously a masterpiece. A book that makes the Holocaust fresh, slipping seamlessly between story, thinking, politics, poetry, and the personal.” ―Peter Pomerantsev
“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 twenty-first century, to keep telling the history of the twentieth." ―Anne Applebaum
Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes
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