Center for German and European Studies

"Come to this Court and Cry" - A Conversation with Author Linda Kinstler

Thursday, February 16, 2023
4:30 - 6 pm Eastern Time (US)
Hybrid In-Person Event and Zoom Webinar
Rapaporte Treasure Hall, Goldfarb Library, Brandeis University

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Co-Sponsored by the Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry.

About the Event

Book cover for "Come to my Court and Cry"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 Linda Kinstler.

A few years ago 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?

About the Speaker

Head shot of Linda Kinstler in a black shirt smilingLinda Kinstler is a contributing writer for The Economist’s 1843 Magazine and a Ph.D candidate in the Rhetoric Department at U.C. Berkeley. Her writing has been cited by the ICJ and has inspired documentaries. Work appears in The New York Times, Washington Post, The Atlantic, Wired, and more. She was previously a Marshall Scholar in the UK, where she covered British politics for The Atlantic. Kinslter has been a contributing writer at Politico Europe, which she helped launch in Brussels in spring 2015. Before that, she was the managing editor of The New Republic, where she covered the war in Ukraine.