The Blood of His Servants is a remarkable true story. In the whole range of Holocaust literature it stands apart, for it recounts the search by one survivor for the single Nazi murderer of his family—a man who had once been their friend.
In prewar Poland, Bibi Krumholz, the nephew of prosperous Jewish landowners, is befriended by the wealthy Dutchman Pieter Menten. Largely due to Menten’s wordly influence, Bibi leaves for Palestine in 1935. In the years before the war, Menten establishes a business partnership with Bibi’s family; in a legal battle over timber rights, Menten is publicly embarrassed and swears retribution.
It comes swiftly. In 1945, Bibi is desperate for news of his family. Wisps of rumor drift to Tel Aviv about the fate of his village. Then Bibi learns from survivors that Menten exacted a hideous revenge, that as an adviser to an SS killer squad, Menten directed the execution of all Jews in the village—including every member of Bibi’s family. Bibi vows vengeance and his hunt begins.
Malcolm MacPherson is a former correspondent for Newsweek and the author of more a dozen books including most recently the satirical war novel Hocus Potus and the nonfiction account of battle in Afghanistan, Roberts Ridge. He lives near the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia with his wife and children.