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Pincher Martin: The Two Deaths of Christopher Martin Catch-22 Arctic Dreams Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest The Bolivian times True History of the Kelly Gang

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The Ticket Collector from Belarus

The UK's only war crimes trial


The UK’s only war crimes trial took place in 1999 and had its origins in the horrors of the Holocaust, but only now in The Ticket Collector from Belarus can the full story be told.

The Ticket Collector from Belarus, by Mike Anderson and Neil Hanson, tells the remarkable story of two interwoven journeys. Ben-Zion Blustein and Andrei Sawoniuk were childhood friends in 1930s Domachevo, a holiday and health resort in what is now Belarus. During the events that followed the Nazi invasion in 1941, they became the bitterest of enemies. After the war, Ben-Zion made his way to Israel, and ‘Andrusha the bastard’ to England, where he found work as a British Rail ticket collector in London.

They next confronted each other in the Old Bailey, over half a century later, where one was the principal prosecution witness, and the other charged with a fraction of the number of murders he was alleged to have committed. There was no physical evidence, just one man’s word against another, leaving the jury with a series of agonising dilemmas: Could any witness statement be trusted so long after the event? Was Andrusha a brutal killer, a hapless pawn or a scapegoat? And were his furious protests a sign of guilt or the justified anger of an innocent old man?


'Gripping - a brilliant account of a forgotten story'

Sunday Times

'The engrossing story of a landmark Old Bailey case'



Daily Mail


The Times

'This is a story with everything... characters who don’t so much jump as trampoline off the page and into your imagination'

Haaretz, Israel

'Excellent. A sensitive and well-balanced account of an extraordinary moment in British legal history'

Sunday Telegraph



'A gripping tale... thoroughly absorbing. Anderson and
Hanson never let their readers forget that this is a profoundly human tragedy'

Perspective Magazine

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