A Crime in the Family

A World War II Secret Buried in Silence--and My Search for the Truth

Regular Price $28

Regular Price $36.5 CAD

Regular Price $28

Regular Price $36.5 CAD

Also Available From:

Buy Now:

On Sale

Oct 10, 2017

Page Count

224 Pages




A memoir of brutality, heroism, and personal discovery from Europe’s dark heart, revealing one of the most extraordinary untold stories of World War II

One night in March of 1945, on the Austrian-Hungarian border, a local countess hosted a party in her mansion, where guests and local Nazi leaders mingled. The war was almost over and the German aristocrats and SS officers dancing and drinking knew it was lost. Around midnight, some of the guests were asked to “take care” of 180 Jewish enslaved laborers at the train station; they made them strip naked and shot them all before returning to the bright lights of the party. It was another one of the war’s countless atrocities buried in secrecy for decades–until Sacha Batthyany started investigating what happened that night at the party his great aunt hosted.

A Crime in the Family is the author’s memoir of confronting his family’s past, the questions he raised and the answers he found that took him far beyond his great aunt’s party: through the dark past of Nazi Germany to the gulags of Siberia, the bleak streets of Cold War Budapest, and to Argentina, where he finds an Auschwitz survivor whose past intersects with his family’s. It is the story of executioners and victims, villains and heroes.

Told partly through the surviving family journals, A Crime in the Family is a disquieting and moving memoir, a powerful true story told by an extraordinary writer confronting the dark past of his family–and humanity.

What's Inside

Read More Read Less


"Evocatively written with a sharp journalist's eye, A Crime in the Family lingers in the mind long after the final page is turned."--Literary Review
"Extraordinary... Self-discovery, journalistic rigor, and a novelist's way...congeal against a gripping historical backdrop."--Irish Independent
"Fascinating...With the caution of a sapper dismantling a bomb, [Batthyany] peels away the historical details."--Haaretz
"Riveting"--Daily Express
"Dazzlingly written"--Der Spiegel
"Tells Batthyany's twisted family history... An elegant history, relentless and honest."--Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung
"[A] disturbing memoir...Though Sacha was not the first to write about this horrendous deed, his compulsive research and meditations enormously broaden the scope of information and understanding."—Jewish Book Council
"[Batthyany] engrossingly uses diary entries, a script, email notes and a shrink's couch to unfold layers of guilt."

Military Times
"A brilliant memoir and mystery rolled into one...This book is a fascinating jaunt, examining the raw legacy of war crimes and multi-generational blame and guilt. It is well worth the read."
Minneapolis Star-Tribune
"A deeply personal book."—Portland Book Review
"A soul-searching book...A fascinating story of self-discovery."—Collected Miscellany
"Compelling reading from the very beginning and so relevant to the study of history."—Tulsa Book Review
Read More Read Less