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On 7 November 1938, Herschel Grynszpan, a seventeen-year-old Jewish refugee, walked into the German embassy in Paris and shot Ernst vom Rath, a Nazi diplomat. Two days later, the Third Reich exploited the murder to unleash Kristallnacht. Jonathan Kirsch brings to light this wrenching story, re-examining the historical details and moral dimensions of one of the Second World War's most enigmatic cases. Kirsch questions whether Grynszpan was a psychopath, as Hannah Arendt claimed, or an early resistance fighter, and whether he and his victim were intimately connected, as Grynszpan claimed. Part page-turning thriller and part legal drama this biography illuminates a life cast into the shadows of history.