A Crime in the Family: A World War II Secret Buried in Silence–and My Search for the Truth

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“So who decides what’s true and what’s false? Who can turn a murder into a suicide? My grandmother wrote: Whoever is in power.”

Sacha Batthyany in his novel A Crime in the Family searches for the real “truth” that his family has hidden since 1945. Sparked by a newspaper article describing his great-aunt Margit as “The Hostess from Hell,” he learns of a particular dinner party during which the guests lined up and shot 180 Jews for fun and then returned to their dancing and drinking.

This revelation pushes the author to confront family members who may remember this event, including his father. He is given a diary belonging to his late grandmother, even though she had told his father to destroy it when she died. This diary compels him to begin searching archives and files, writing letters, and finally contacting the family of someone mentioned in the diary, who then gives him the diary of their aging mother. Side by side, Maritta and Agnes’ diaries tell parallel stories from very different points of view, and soon Batthyany must decide not only what the truth is but if bringing it to light will be healing for anyone.

Compelling reading from the very beginning and so relevant to the study of history.


Reviewed By:

Author Sacha Batthyany
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 224 pages
Publisher Da Capo Press
Publish Date 2017-Oct-10
ISBN 9780306825828
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue April 2018
Category Biographies & Memoirs
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