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Why is Ukraine honouring the monsters of the past?

Bernard Wasserstein describes the dreadful fate of Jews in Krakowiec in the 1940s – and is astonished that a statue has been erected there to one of their chief persecutors

25 February 2023

9:00 AM

25 February 2023

9:00 AM

A Small Town in Ukraine: The Place We Came From, the Place We Went Back To Bernard Wasserstein

Allen Lane, pp.293, 20

The historian Bernard Wasserstein is admired as a rigorous academic. In his monumental work on the Holocaust and his perceptive study of barbarism vs civilisation in the West, he strove for objectivity and maintained a professorial tone, as if writing of the past from an Olympian height.

Not so in this extraordinarily moving book about Krakowiec, the shtetl 40 miles from Lviv where his forebears lived for generations, and the role his family played there.

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