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Hybrid Event: Come to this Court and Cry: Linda Kinstler in Conversation with William Shawcross
June 15, 2022 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
A few years ago Linda 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?
In this major non-fiction debut, Linda Kinstler investigates both her family story and the archives of ten nations to examine what it takes to prove history in our uncertain century. Probing and profound, Come to this Court and Cry is about the nature of memory and justice when revisionism, ultra-nationalism and denialism make it feel like history is slipping out from under our feet. It asks how the stories we tell about ourselves, our families and our nations are passed down, how we alter them, and what they demand of us.
Ms Kinstler will be led in conversation by William Shawcross.
About the speakers:
Linda 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 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 and studied Forensic Architecture. She 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.
William Shawcross was appointed Independent Reviewer of Prevent in January 2021. He was the Chair of the Charity Commission between 2012 and 2018 and became the Special Representative on UK victims of Qadhafi-sponsored IRA terrorism in March 2019. His previous roles have included membership of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Informal Advisory Panel between 1995 and 2000, and as a member of the Council of the Disasters Emergency Committee, 1997 to 2002. He served on the board of International Crisis Group between 1995 and 2006. Prior to 2012, William was an independent writer and commentator, having worked as a Foreign Correspondent and written extensively on international affairs. His book, The Quality of Mercy: Cambodia, Holocaust and Modern Conscience, examined the role of aid agencies in disaster relief. He has also written on the work of the United Nations in 1990s conflict zones in Deliver Us From Evil: Peacekeepers, Warlords, and a World of Endless Conflict. His other works include Justice and the Enemy: Nuremberg, 9/11, and the Trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
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4. The event will be recorded for the Library’s YouTube channel and will be shared at a later date.Book now
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