The Third Man

  • From the Publisher
September 1, 2021

From Vien­na in the 1930s to Eng­land in the 1940s, and back, The Third Man is a sto­ry of dis­pos­ses­sion, refuge, and the search for jus­tice and human­i­ty. Focus­ing on two Jew­ish fam­i­lies as the Holo­caust approach­es, the book zeros in on two indi­vid­u­als who wind up hav­ing to make dif­fi­cult moral choic­es. Five-year-old Julie Bern­stein is sent to safe­ty in Eng­land via the Kinder­trans­port. Grow­ing up in a fos­ter fam­i­ly trou­bled by trau­mat­ic events, Julie thrives, but the grow­ing vio­lence in British-con­trolled Pales­tine — vio­lence that spills over into Britain itself — forces her to reeval­u­ate who she is and what she stands for. Ignaz Natan­son, a butcher’s appren­tice, escapes to Eng­land, is interned as an ene­my alien, changes his name, and joins the British Army. He winds up in Vien­na and returns, post-war, to track down the per­son who, for him, epit­o­mizes the Nazi night­mare. Inspired by the author’s fam­i­ly, the nov­el presents a world of dehu­man­iza­tion and death but also of courage, love, and shared humanity.

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