A Crime in the Family: A World War II Secret Buried in Silence–and My Search for the Truth by Sacha Batthyany is a soul-searching book about Batthyany’s search for the truth about his family in World War II.
At first, I thought the book was going to be about his Aunt Margit and the party she hosted while her guests executed 180 Jews in Rechnitz, Hungary. But, it turns out that Batthyany’s family has more than that connection with Jews during the war.
He begins with the story of his Aunt Margit and then turns to a secret that is closer to him – his great grandfather’s and grandmother’s roles in the execution of a Jewish playmate’s parents.
Batthyany tells the story of this execution as he discovers his family’s secrets and why he is the person he is today. It is a fascinating story of self-discovery because he shares his exploits and his struggles as he unravels the story of the execution.
In the end, it is a redeeming feature of the human spirit that, although we are who we are partially because of our past, it does not mean that we have to continue living with the sins of the past – whether our own or sins of our families.