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Hitler's Pawn: The Boy Assassin and the Holocaust

Stephen Koch
# UQ5882 Hardcover, 272 pages; 2019
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In 1938, with hopes of drawing the world's attention to the evils of the Nazi party, Herschel Grynszpan—a Jewish German-born teenager living with relatives in France—walked into the German embassy and shot (and killed) the first diplomat he saw. Hitler and Goebbels eagerly used the incident to incite anti-Semitic anger and violence in Germany, and planned to hold a propaganda trial that would lay the blame for World War II squarely on the shoulders of the Jews. To the great consternation of the Nazi leaders, Grynszpan foiled their plan with sordid lies and adroit manipulations of his own. After reading this riveting biography, I was simply shocked that I had never heard his story before. Stephen Koch's rich and keenly researched retelling of the events—including the dynamics between Hitler and Goebbels, and the important role the free press plays when governments abuse and disregard the truth—makes the whole thing immediately affecting. (CH)
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