The Short, Strange Life of Herschel Grynszpan: A Boy Avenger, a Nazi Diplomat, and a Murder in Parisby Jonathan Kirsch
"Reading this excellent, thought-provoking biography, one is all too easily reminded of Camus’s 1942 novel, The Stranger."—Philip Kerr, Wall Street JournalOn the morning of November 7, 1938, Herschel Grynszpan, a desperate seventeen-year-old Jewish refugee, walked into the German embassy in Paris and shot Ernst vom Rath, a Nazi/p>/em>/em>
"Reading this excellent, thought-provoking biography, one is all too easily reminded of Camus’s 1942 novel, The Stranger."—Philip Kerr, Wall Street JournalOn the morning of November 7, 1938, Herschel Grynszpan, a desperate seventeen-year-old Jewish refugee, walked into the German embassy in Paris and shot Ernst vom Rath, a Nazi diplomat. Two days later vom Rath lay dead, and the Third Reich exploited the murder to unleash Kristallnacht in a bizarre concatenation of events that would rapidly involve Ribbentrop, Goebbels, and Hitler himself. But was Grynszpan a crazed lone gunman or agent provocateur of the Gestapo? Was he motivated by a desire to avenge Jewish people, or did his act of violence speak to an intimate connection between the assassin and his target, as Grynszpan later claimed? Part page-turning historical thriller and part Kafkaesque legal drama, The Short, Strange Life of Herschel Grynszpan brings to life the historical details and moral dimensions of one of the most enigmatic cases of World War II. This compelling biography presents a story with twists and turns that “no novelist could invent” (Alice Kaplan).
- Liveright Publishing Corporation
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Barnes & Noble
- NOOK Book
- Sales rank:
- File size:
- 6 MB
Meet the Author
Jonathan Kirsch is the author of the best-selling The Harlot by the Side of the Road and A History of the End of the World, the book editor of the Jewish Journal, and a longtime contributor of book reviews to the Los Angeles Times. He lives in Los Angeles, California.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
The subject of this entertaining biography and Holocaust history emerges from his repute as a tantalizing cipher to a flesh-and-blood figure, riven by conflicting emotions and shifting, often competing goals. Even the author doesn't pretend to understand what was going on in his head when he shot and killed an obscure Nazi diplomat in Paris. The very telling of the tale, however, sheds much badly-needed light on the unending horrors visited upon Europe's Jews as Germany's sociopathic leaders sought to purge themselves of the innocent and often intensely patriotic peoples who lived within their borders. The failure of Western nations, most notably the United States, to open their borders to Jews facing nor merely persecution but imminent murder remains a black mark on this nation's history. All told, a masterfully presented tale.
Good read. Never heard of this before and I learned a lot of other things besides the asassanation