Come to This Court and Cry
To probe the past is to submit the memory of one's ancestors to a certain kind of trial. In this case, the trial came to me. 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?