The Butcher's Tale: Murder and Anti-Semitism in a German Town
One of the most dramatic explorations of a German town in the grip of anti-Semitic passion ever written. In 1900, in a small country town in the eastern reaches of the German Empire, a German boy is found frozen beneath the ice. He has been brutally murdered, the blood drained from his dismembered body. The crime resembles in form traditional blood libel accusations against the Jewsthe kind dramatized in Bernard Malamud's classic The Fixer. When a Jewish butcher is accused of committing the murder, the town explodes in an anti-Semitic fervor. Using vast amounts of previously undiscovered material, Helmut Walser Smith has pieced together the web of false stories and accusations, the abundance of rumor and malice that engulfed this Prussian town. Reminiscent of The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara in its dramatic intensity, The Butcher's Tale presciently anticipates the Nazi pogroms that would descend on Germany three decades latera true historical thriller. Map, illustrations.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - bakabaka84 - LibraryThing
A rather fascinating book about antisemitism and the myth of the blood ritual set in the small Prussian town of Konitz during the year 1900. The incident starts off when the torso of a local high ... Read full review
THE BUTCHER'S TALE: Murder and Anti-Semitism in a German TownUser Review - Kirkus
A braided and illuminating study of local-level anti-Semitism and its insinuation into the life of a small town in early 20th-century Germany.In 1900, in Konitz, West Prussia, a young man was killed ... Read full review