Just last week, a block down from my home here in San Anselmo, Marin County, an enclave for liberal America, a place where every Jew ought to feel safe, a swastika appeared in the parking lot of Drake High School: One of many such incidents here in Marin County, since Trump became president of the United States. This is the school my twenty year old attended and my 12 year old will soon attend too. Both daughters’ grandparents were Holocaust survivors. I am so thankful to note that the younger generations continue to participate in the critical promise to ensure that the genocide of our people and the specific horrors experienced will never be forgotten:
If you read the newly published “TO LOOK A NAZI IN THE EYE”A Teen’s Account of a War Criminal Trial, by Kathy Kacer with Jordan Leibowitz, you will be privy to the true story of a nineteen-year-old’s experience attending the war criminal trial of Oskar Groening, who worked at the Auschwitz concentration camp and became known as the “Bookkeeper of Auschwitz.”
In 2015 Groening stood trial in Germany for being complicit in the deaths of more than 300,000 Jews.
A granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, Jordan Leibowitz knew a great deal about the Holocaust and had travelled to Europe to visit Auschwitz. But she was not prepared for what she would see and hear at Oskar Groening’s trial. In TO LOOK A NAZI IN THE EYE award-winning author Kathy Kacer, writing with Jordana, captures the teen’s witnessing of this pivotal moment of Holocaust history and brings the past into the present for young readers.
Through Jordana’s relationships with the Holocaust survivors who came to testify against Groening, we see their bravery and perseverance, and their belief that justice can never come too late. Young people are hungry for stories like this, as they become aware of the intolerance and persecution around them and take up the mantle of social justice.
In TO LOOK A NAZI IN THE EYE we see a man through Jordana’s teenage eyes who looks completely ordinary, yet who was a part of the horror of the Nazi death camps. Groening’s testimony and his defence of his actions clarify the imperative that we cannot stand by and do nothing while others are hurt.
TO LOOK A NAZI IN THE EYE
A Teen’s Account of a War Criminal Trial
Written by Kathy Kacer
With Jordana Lebowitz
Second Story Press
$13.95 Paperback / $8.99 Digital
Kathy Kacer‘s books have won many awards, including the Silver Birch, the Red Maple, the Hackmatack, and the Jewish Book Award. A former psychologist, Kathy now travels the globe speaking to children and adults about the importance of keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive. Kathy lives in Toronto.
Jordana Lebowitz attended the trial of Oskar Groening in 2015. She is dedicated to Holocaust remembrance and set up a Nazi cattle car exhibit at her university that was seen by more than 2,000 people. From Toronto, she has worked for Holocaust organizations in Australia and California and travels frequently.