Home Feed
Home
Search
Search
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
Add
Activity
Activity
Profile
Profile
East West Street
East West Street: On the Origins of "Genocide" and "Crimes Against Humanity" | Philippe Sands
A profound and profoundly important booka moving personal detective story, an uncovering of secret pasts, and a book that explores the creation and development of world-changing legal concepts that came about as a result of the unprecedented atrocities of Hitlers Third Reich. East West Street looks at the personal and intellectual evolution of the two men who simultaneously originated the ideas of genocide and crimes against humanity, both of whom, not knowing the other, studied at the same university with the same professors, in a city little known today that was a major cultural center of Europe, the little Paris of Ukraine, a city variously called Lemberg, Lww, Lvov, or Lviv. The book opens with the author being invited to give a lecture on genocide and crimes against humanity at Lviv University. Sands accepted the invitation with the intent of learning about the extraordinary city with its rich cultural and intellectual life, home to his maternal grandfather, a Galician Jew who had been born there a century before and whod moved to Vienna at the outbreak of the First World War, married, had a child (the authors mother), and who then had moved to Paris after the German annexation of Austria in 1938. It was a life that had been shrouded in secrecy, with many questions not to be asked and fewer answers offered if they were. As the author uncovered, clue by clue, the deliberately obscured story of his grandfathers mysterious life, and of his mothers journey as a child surviving Nazi occupation, Sands searched further into the history of the city of Lemberg and realized that his own field of humanitarian law had been forged by two menRafael Lemkin and Hersch Lauterpachteach of whom had studied law at Lviv University in the city of his grandfathers birth, each considered to be the father of the modern human rights movement, and each, at parallel times, forging diametrically opposite, revolutionary concepts of humanitarian law that had changed the world. In this extraordinary and resonant book, Sands looks at who these two very private men were, and at how and why, coming from similar Jewish backgrounds and the same city, studying at the same university, each developed the theory he did, showing how each man dedicated this period of his life to having his legal conceptgenocide and crimes against humanityas a centerpiece for the prosecution of Nazi war criminals. And the author writes of a third man, Hans Frank, Hitlers personal lawyer, a Nazi from the earliest days who had destroyed so many lives, friend of Richard Strauss, collector of paintings by Leonardo da Vinci. Frank oversaw the ghetto in Lemberg in Poland in August 1942, in which the entire large Jewish population of the area had been confined on penalty of death. Frank, who was instrumental in the construction of concentration camps nearby and, weeks after becoming governor general of Nazi-occupied Poland, ordered the transfer of 133,000 men, women, and children to the death camps. Sands brilliantly writes of how all three men came together, in October 1945 in NurembergRafael Lemkin; Hersch Lauterpacht; and in the dock at the Palace of Justice, with the twenty other defendants of the Nazi high command, prisoner number 7, Hans Frank, who had overseen the extermination of more than a million Jews of Galicia and Lemberg, among them, the families of the authors grandfather as well as those of Lemkin and Lauterpacht. A book that changes the way we look at the world, at our understanding of history and how civilization has tried to cope with mass murder. Powerful; moving; tender; a revelation.
Amazon Indiebound Barnes and Noble WorldCat Goodreads LibraryThing
Pick icon
100%
review
GuiltyFeat
post image
Pickpick

Had the joy of hearing Professor Sands talk about his astonishing book in a lecture at the law faculty of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem last night. After he graciously signed my copy, he introduced my wife and me to former Israeli Supreme Court Justice Gabriel Bach, aged 92, who was one of the prosecutors of Adolf Eichmann back in 1961. Wonderful evening.

Texreader Wow. What an opportunity! 4mo
Cinfhen What a great event! 4mo
andrew61 Great photo. I read this book earlier this year and was overwhelmed by the story of the three families and the horror of franck. I was also fascinated by the creation of the two crimes, who knew how significant a comma could be and astonished of the humanity as he hugged frank's son. A brilliant writer. Did you listen to his podcast 'intrigue' on radio 4, its still available and id recommend. Thanks for sharing the photo. 4mo
GuiltyFeat @andrew61 He spoke about the podcast, The Ratline I think. I‘m going to start listening this week. 4mo
andrew61 @GuiltyFeat yes, it's a fascinating listen. I'd forgotten it was ratline, intrigue is the overall series - there had been a previous series about a Chinese politician. I'll be interested to read your thoughts. 4mo
25 likes5 comments
review
andrew61
post image
Pickpick

A brilliant piece of writing that combines incredibly moving history of the personal impact of the holocaust with an interesting analysis of how the contradictory legal concepts of 'crimes against humanity' and 'genocide' were created by 2 very different lawyers who escape from lwow in the 1930's leaving family behind. Told by the author an international law barrister whose gfather escaped from the same city it considers their lives as well as⏬

andrew61 His own grandfather leon and hans frank another lawyer and govenor of occupied Poland. He also explores other lives that are touched by the story which are profoundly moving. The account of nuremberg is fascinating but parts were distressing. An incredible read and the debate over a semi colon or comma and its effect on whether crimes pre 1939 were triable as crimes against humanity was so interesting. Definitely a 5* must read that i will reread 7mo
Leftcoastzen Sounds difficult but amazing. 7mo
28 likes1 stack add2 comments
blurb
andrew61
post image

If you haven't listened to the bbc radio 4 series ratlines id thoroughly recommend it and as i start this book today by phlippe sands i can hear his voice vividly in my head. As i read the difference between 'crimes against humanity' and 'genocide' and then move into the story of sands's grandfather's life in lvov i am already totally absorbed but know this will be a difficult yet incredibly written book.

Crazeedi I must look this up, looks very interesting and I'd like to find the podcast 7mo
andrew61 @Crazeedi it will still be on itunes, bbc sounds, and on the r4 website. The series is called intrigue but this subseries was ratlines. 7mo
Crazeedi @andrew61 thank you for the info! 7mo
21 likes1 stack add3 comments
review
SealedWithInk
Pickpick

An incredibly detailed, fascinating, yet heartbreaking book on the legal, political, and personal circumstances of the terms 'genocide' and 'crimes against humanity' and the individuals behind these terms. As well as this, the book is also a memoir of the authors grandfather, who too faced the horror of the influence of Nazi Germany.

blurb
SealedWithInk
post image

Busy shift at work today (ended up staying behind an extra hour). At least I'm back home, fed, and in my pyjamas. The plan for the rest of this evening is to finish this. I have just under 50 pages to go so I reckon I can smash it. #eastweststreet #philippesands #amreading

8 likes1 stack add
review
nomierosie
post image
Pickpick

For anyone who enjoyed East West Street you may also enjoy Philippe Sands Radio 4 show which explores some of the same characters #philippesands #eastweststreet #radio #nazi #worldwartwo #warcrimes

review
Emilymdxn
post image
Pickpick

This was such a rewarding read! I find history quite hard to plough through sometimes but this was a dream to read, such heavy topics covered with so much humanity and so much detail. It was serious and well-researched but never difficult to get through.

25 likes1 stack add
blurb
Emilymdxn
post image

Still raining in England. That makes it about two weeks straight now?

Really enjoying East West Street, only as I‘m reading it am I realising how incredibly little I knew about Eastern Europe during/after the Second World War. I‘m grateful to the writer for making this so readable

blurb
Emilymdxn
post image

Been wanting to read this for ages! I really want to make an effort to read more history and this looks like it will have just the right amount of history vs personal story.

blurb
nomierosie
post image

Beautiful setting for a read #beach #sun #summer

2 likes1 stack add
blurb
nomierosie
post image

Sangria in Spain, enjoying East West Street but it's taking me a while to read #spain #eastweststreet

blurb
nomierosie
post image

Arrived at Leeds station more than an hour early. Good excuse for a cuppa and a good book #eastweststreet #tea #english

blurb
nomierosie
post image

Finally getting round to reading East West Street which I picked up at Hay festival back in May. I was also lucky enough to see Sands speak, meet him and get my book signed. Can't wait to read it! #eastweststreet #history #ww2 #holocaust

5 likes1 stack add
blurb
charl08
post image

One of my own books, I have been distracted by shiny new ones from the library!

Eyejaybee I thought this was marvellous. 2y
charl08 @Eyejaybee early days: just trying not to be distracted by the garden. Or the other books... 2y
41 likes1 stack add2 comments
blurb
nomierosie
post image

It's been an amazing weekend at Hay. So sad to be headed home, definitely planning on making this a yearly trip #hayonwye #hayfestival #hay30 #literaturefestival #stephenfry #philippesands #harrietharman #laurabates #politics #feminism

blurb
nomierosie
post image

So many good books and not enough money to buy them all.😣 #hayonwye #literaturefestival

4 likes1 stack add
blurb
nomierosie
post image

So many books. Loving how everyone is sat reading. It'd be great if life was like this all the time #hayonwye #hayliteraturefestival #literaturefestival #books

blurb
Eyejaybee
post image

Definitely looking forward to reading this.

review
AAmuses
post image
Pickpick

The book is about protection of individuals (crimes against humanity) vs. groups (genocide). These concepts were developed and helped introduce at the trials by the Polish lawyers Lauterpacht and Lemkin, respectively, who lost their families directly because of one of the defendant's, Hans Frank: Hitler's lawyer, then Governor General of occupied Poland. The book is also a personal account of their lives.

blurb
AAmuses
post image

None of the high Nazi officers on trial in Nuremberg was convicted of genocide! I'm still shocked.

blurb
AAmuses
post image

The wife of Krakow's Nazi Governor - the Austrian Von Wächter - was particularly proud that the jewish ghetto had a beautiful wall with "elegant curves and graceful battlements."

Arbol This is such a good book. 3y
1 like1 comment
quote
AAmuses
post image

"The coming together of the lives of Frank, Lauterpacht, and Lemkin was formalized in the Nuremberg's Palace of Justice in the words of the indictment."

review
Arbol
post image
Pickpick

A compelling explanation of the meaning/history of the terms 'crimes against humanity' and 'genocide' and the opposing men/philosophies that birthed these terms. Normally I don't enjoy when a non-fiction writer inserts themselves into the narrative (if it isn't a memoir) but I found Sands' juxtaposition of these complex men and his own family history to be not only relevant but fascinating. A really great book that I hope gets a wider readership.

12 likes1 stack add
blurb
Arbol
post image

From closing statement @ Nuremberg Trials.
"They stand before the record of this trial as blood-stained Gloucester stood by the body of his slain King. He ·begged of
the widow, as they beg of you: "Say I slew them not." And the Queen replied,
"Then say they were not slain. But dead they are-"
If you were to say of these men that they are not guilty, it would be as true
to say there has been no war, there are no slain, there has been no crime."

blurb
Arbol
post image

From May 2016 Vanity Fair interview with Sands about the book. This quote seemed especially timely to me given current climate. Normalization enables brutalization.

blurb
swishandflick
post image

On vacation in Budapest and couldn't help but wander into this bookstore (even though I packed 5 hardcovers and my Nook!). What can I say, I'm a junkie. Just had to find the fairly small "foreign language" section for books in English ?. This one jumped out at me!

BookishFeminist I've heard good things about this book- nice choice! 3y
8 likes3 stack adds1 comment
blurb
Pierke
post image

As I have indexed several tomes on the holocaust and human rights, this book caught my eye immediately. I am half way into the book and find it fascinating and compelling.

1 stack add