10 Pages

Introduction: The Killing That Will Not Die

That very afternoon, the police swooped on the man and threw him into prison where they kept him behind bars until 14 April 1942. This proved a fateful day for the socialist, who found himself hauled before a summary military tribunal. The army judges gave him short shrift and-on the basis of the denunciation, a few vague witness statements and a report from the village mayor that did no more than echo the widow’s allegations-condemned him, as his denouncer had every reason to believe they probably would, to twenty years in prison.1