The Butcher's Tale
Murder and Anti-semitism in A German TownBook - 2002
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 traditional blood libel accusations against the Jews. When a Jewish butcher is accused of committing the murder, the town explodes in an anti-Semitic fervour. Using vast amounts of previously undiscovered material, Helmut Walser Smith, a professor of German history, has pieced together the web of false stories and accusations, the abundance of rumour and malice that engulfed this Prussian town. Reminiscent of a true historical thriller in its dramatic intensity, The Butcher's Tale presciently anticipates the Nazi pogroms that would descend on Germany three decades later.
Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton, c2002.
Characteristics: 270 p. :,ill., maps ;,24 cm.