Library Tidings

Book Review

A Crime in the Family

by Sacha Batthyány

One night in March 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 Batthyány 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.

Advance Reader Copies

Still Available

The library still has available for check-out a large number of advance reader copies (ARCs). The books are available for library patrons to borrow for up to two weeks, write a short review on the attached bookmark, and give their opinion as to whether the library should purchase the book once published.

This is a great opportunity to read a book that is yet to be published.

Siuslaw Room

Did you know that the library has a nice collection of Oregon history materials and a large collection of family history resources? In the Siuslaw Room, you will find a number of books dealing with local and Oregon history, including copies of the “Siuslaw Pioneer,” oral histories conducted by Kim Stafford in the 1970’s (currently available on cassette), histories of various counties and towns around the state and a few Siuslaw High School yearbooks.

The library has a collection of The West, The Oar, and the Siuslaw News (the newspapers of Florence) from about 1891 to present on microfilm, and some family history files for western Lane County families.

In addition, workstations are set up for family history research, the largest collection on the Oregon coast of how-to books on genealogy, and there are genealogy volunteers to assist patrons three afternoons a week — Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday.

Whether you’re wanting to read about the area’s fascinating local history or would like to start researching your family tree, be sure to check out the Siuslaw Room.

Holiday Hours

The library will be closed on Sunday, Dec. 24, and Monday, Dec. 25, in honor of Christmas. It will close early, at 4 p.m., on Sunday, Dec. 31, and will be closed on Monday, Jan. 1, in honor of New Year’s Day.

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