I Rest My Case

Trade Paper – $19.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-1977-2
Publication Date
November 2002
Page Count
306 pages
Trim Size
5 1/2 x 8 3/4

I Rest My Case

Mark Verstandig

I Rest My Case is a gripping account of history, flight, grave injustice, and eventual triumph--an epic of the twentieth-century Jewish experience. Through a combination of anecdote and historical analysis, Verstandig reveals the complexities of Polish politics and how its twists and turns had an impact on Jewish life, and how incidents in the prewar period foreshadowed the horrors to come. Verstandig, reassured that early wartime atrocities were aberrations, settled down to resume his law practice, and thanks to an extraordinary conspiracy by the entire legal profession of the town, he practiced under the German occupation, until the Jews of Mielec were deported and he fled with his wife. From there he assumed a harrowing life on the run, sheltered by some kindhearted Poles, betrayed by others. His extraordinary account of postwar life includes his legal attempts to regain lost Jewish property and his anecdotes about everyday life in the displaced-persons camps, and his eventual emigration to Australia, a "lucky country."

About the Author

Mark Verstandig was born in 1912, the youngest son of Hassidic landowners, near Cracow, Poland. After the war he worked for several years as a journalist and businessman in Europe, and then emigrated to Melbourne, Australia where today he is a well-known Yiddish broadcaster, speaker, activist and writer.

Felicity Verstandig is a writer in Melbourne, Australia, and the daughter of the author.
"A major work of sociological and historical signifigance...transcends the academic to become memorable journalism and literature..." --Sam Lipski, Jewish News
"Lipski's comparisons with Sholem Aleichem, the brothers Singer, and, even, the Russians Gogol, Gorky and Isaac Babel aren't all that fanciful..." --Max Teichmann, Eureka Street
"...a very precise (and morbidly exciting) account of what wartime pressures made of those he knew. . . a tapestry of those minute personal choices, acts of complicity or resistance, which either pave the way to Aushwitz--and later to Srebrenica--or away from them. . ." --Peter Christoff, Australian Book Review

"[T]he lost world of Polish Jewry has found a wry, faithful and utterly unsentimental chronicler." --Robert Manne, Herald Sun