Saul David from the Sunday Telegraph describes The Ticket Collector from Belarus by Mike Anderson and Neil Hanson as a heart-rending tale, written in a sensitive and well balanced account of an extraordinary moment in British legal history.
On February 9 1999, Britain’s first and last war crimes trial began at the Old Bailey in London. In the dock – or, more accurately, beside his lawyers in the well of the court – sat 77-year-old Andrei Sawoniuk, a former British Rail employee, accused of murdering Jews in the Nazi-occupied town of Domachevo in eastern Poland (now part of Belarus) in 1942. Among the prosecution’s star witnesses was Ben-Zion Blustein, Sawoniuk’s childhood friend, who had lost most of his family in the Holocaust before emigrating to Israel…. continue reading