Investigating the death of Herberts Cukurs, a fugitive Nazi from Latvia who had served in her grandfather's unit, and modern efforts to exonerate him for his past actions, the author explores both her family story and the legacy of the post-Holocaust era in Europe, and how that legacy extends into the present.
A six-year project of forensic sleuthing and personal introspection that has borne fruit in Come to This Court & Cry: How the Holocaust Ends ... An exquisite exploration into 'how the memory of the Holocaust extends into the present and acts upon it,' as she puts it ... It should be noted that Come to This Court & Cry is more about Cukurs than about Ms. Kinstler’s grandfather, who proves to be, disturbingly, a shadowy participant in Cukurs’s killing sprees.
Intelligent and thoughtful ... What gives Kinstler’s story its charge is not so much the horrific saga of the Arājs Kommando, or the relatively unknown Israeli operation to take the law into their own hands, but the almost Kafkaesque quality of Latvian public memory ... Come to This Court and Cry is not the only recent book to cover this subject. Stephen Talty tells the Mossad story as a fast-paced thriller in The Good Assassin (2020). Linda Kinstler is more reflective about the issues. It makes for a less straightforward narrative, but also for a more searching read. Men like Cukurs still have plenty of admirers, and the passing of time seems not to be clarifying the moral stakes of history, but obscuring them further.
Victims and perpetrators meet in Kinstler’s bloodline, but family history is only one strand of a remarkable book that braids together her own rigorously reported investigations in 10 countries with the survivors’ eight-decade quest for justice...and poetic meditations on such subjects as history, law, Latvian identity, Franz Kafka and the politics of remembrance. This is a tremendous feat of storytelling, propelled by numerous twists and revelations, yet anchored by a deep moral seriousness ... Enthralling, sobering.