After Auschwitz

Written by Lewis M. Weinstein
Review by Tom Vallar

SS-Standartenführer Berthold Becker stands in the dock at Nuremberg accused of directing the transportation of hundreds of thousands of Jews to the various Nazi death camps during World War II. His defense attorney makes no objection to the evidence put forward by the prosecution, but presents only one witness who has a chance to prevent Becker’s eventual execution.

Jewish journalist Anna Gorska tells the court that Becker should be allowed to live and tell a story that only he can share with the world: how Adolf Hitler manipulated his way to power and constructed the most evil regime in history. When Becker is sentenced to twenty years in Spandau Prison, Anna firmly believes that she and her lover will be able to endure this separation, just as she survived her years in Auschwitz.

A Catholic priest provides Becker’s lifeline to the outside world while he challenges his fellow inmates about their roles leading up to and during the war. Anna begins life anew in the State of Israel, and her journalistic contacts bring her to the attention of Golda Meir. These two strong women enable Berthold’s eventual release from Spandau so that he can positively identify Adolf Eichmann in Argentina for Mossad, and bring him to his final justice.

Weinstein’s invented protagonists so consumed him while writing his two-part novel (spanning 1923-1946) that this third book (1946 to 1961) completed their life stories. You cheer as they break down the barriers that stand in their way to happiness. Historical figures, such as Winston Churchill and Elie Wiesel, interact convincingly with the fictional characters. This trilogy is an important addition to Holocaust literature.