East West Street: On the Origins of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity
By Philippe Sands
Why this book?
Among many books on the Holocaust, this one stands out. The story focuses on three people, the author’s grandfather and two lawyers who all hailed from the same city, Lviv (Lemberg). The lawyers were Raphael Lemkin and Hersch Lauterpacht, who respectively introduced the concepts of genocide and crime against humanity. All three lives are inextricably connected to the fate of Eastern Europe in the 1930s and 40s. The author is a well-known professor of international law who writes with extraordinary precision and elegance. The book is remarkably well researched, and it is often through small and little-known episodes that one fully understands the extent of the Nazi evil and the resilience of the human spirit.
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