A Murder in Auschwitz by J.C. Stephenson

Today I am reviewing A Murder in Auschwitz by J.C. Stephenson.




Blurb:  An SS officer is found standing over the body of a comrade, a smoking pistol still in his hand, a murder in a place of murders. His pleas of innocence force a court martial and he knows that there is only one man in the camp capable of defending him; a Jewish prisoner called Manfred Meyer.

Manfred Meyer is forced to build a defence for him in his court martial. Drawing on his years of experience as a criminal lawyer in Berlin, Meyer must unravel the deceit and interpret the lies that infect the concentration camp and work to have him found not guilty.

Following Meyer and his family through their lives in Berlin, the Nazi rise to power and their inevitable arrest and incarceration in Auschwitz, Meyer will do almost anything to see his wife and children. Almost anything.

Can his abilities as a lawyer interpret the facts of this seemingly impossible case? As a Jew, should he even defend an SS officer? And is he actually guilty of this crime?

But the officer must be found innocent if Meyer is to see his family again.

This story follows Manfred Meyer, from his beginnings as a lawyer in 1930s Berlin after being taken under the wing of the city’s most capable defence lawyer in the most prestigious law firm in Germany, Bauer & Bauer.

Meyer’s confidence and experience build as his cases become more complex and more difficult to defend. His success is widespread and he, his wife Klara and their twin daughters live a comfortable life in the capital.

But Germany is changing. The Nazi Party has come to power and Meyer’s Jewish heritage has become a crime. Life becomes more and more difficult until even in spite of Meyer’s connections he is forced to leave his position as Bauer & Bauer’s pre-eminent lawyer.

Then, one night, the inevitable knock at the door heralds the long train journey to the east and the death camps of Poland for Meyer, his wife and his children.

Split from his family on arrival, Meyer does what he can to survive in a place designed for death. He stays alive with help from the other inmates he has befriended, helping each other through the long days of hard labour, his only wish being that he could see his family again. A forlorn hope until circumstance throws a real chance his way.

My Review: Such a different type of who done it. I absolutely loved it. Set in Germany before the war and during the time of the concentration camps. Told from the view point of a prominent Jewish lawyer, who in spite of his success and friends, ends up being sent to the death camp. Love how his past life was woven in. Cried at the end was hoping for a good one but as with most of the people that ended up at the camps the endings were not happy. Editing needs a little attention so I give this a 4 star. Highly recommend it to anyone.


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Filed under Posts from me, Reviews

9 responses to “A Murder in Auschwitz by J.C. Stephenson

  1. This one looks intriguing! Will definitely check it out. Thanks for the review!

  2. The term ‘death camps of Poland’ is incorrect. The German Nazis established the ‘death camps’ on occupied Polish soil. The camps were not Polish as implied by the comment. Please correct the error.

  3. The death camps of Poland? I think not.

    American Jewish Committee: We would like to remind those who are either aware of the facts or careless in their choice of words, as has been the case with some media outlets, that Auschwitz-Birkenau and other death camps…were conceived, built and operated by Nazi Germany and its allies.

    David Cesarani (English historian who specialises in Jewish history): The camp was, in fact, in a part of Poland annexed to Germany and was a German creation. Before it was expanded and adapted to include a death camps devoted to the mass murder of Europe’s Jews, tens of thousands of Catholic Poles died there. The camp’s initial function was to terrorise the Polish population.

    Yisrael Gutman (Director of research at the Yad Vashem Institute in Jerusalem and editor in chief of “The Encyclopaedia of the Holocaust” 1990): All accusations against the Poles that they were responsible for the Final Solution are not even worth mentioning. Secondly, there is no validity at all in the contention that Polish attitudes were the reason for the siting [sic] of the death camps in Poland.”

    Todd Gutnick, the ADL’s director of media relations and public information: The Anti-Defamation League has expressed full support for the efforts of the government of Poland to ensure that the official names of the death camps in Poland emphasize that the camps were built and operated by Nazi Germany

    They were German death camps imposed on occupied Poland.

  4. Iwona

    There were no “death camps of Poland”! Please refrain from using language which shifts the blame from Nazi Germany onto a country they occupied and plundered.

  5. Jan Wiktor Soroko

    please make changes to your review – German death camps in Poland. They were German first, and Nazi.

  6. Mieczyslaw de Woldan

    Despite the previous clear and informative comments, the phrase “death camps of Poland” remains unchanged. Why is that? Doesn’t the reviewer wish to be accurate and factual?

    • the review is stating what the author said if there is an issue I suggest you contact them. I understand that Poland was occupied at the time but the death camp was still in the country of Poland occupied or not,

  7. JC Stephenson

    Hi. I am the author JC Stephenson. When writing the blurb for this novel, I chose the words ‘death camps of Poland’ to indicate their geographical location, not their governmental administration. My apologies for any offence caused.

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