Digging into Holocaust history and finding a sort of gold

Plunder: A Memoir of Family Property and Nazi Treasure

By Menachem Kaiser

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 277 pages, $27

Menachem Kaiser’s third-generation Holocaust memoir, in keeping with the genre, is an act of reclamation – or at least an attempt at one. In “Plunder,” Kaiser admits to the limits of his project and confesses his envy of memoirists whose quests seem to culminate in the Holy Grail of discovery or closure.

Even so, with smart, elegant prose, he manages to construct an engrossing chronicle of his foray into an elusive past. His narrative is wonderfully digressive, laced with coincidences and ambiguities, and filled with just enough revelations to keep readers contentedly turning pages.



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