Stuff in the ‘Debbie Cenziper’ Category

17 January, 2020

CITIZEN 865: The Hunt for Hitler’s Hidden Soldiers in America, Debbie Cenziper

The gripping story of a team of Nazi hunters at the U.S. Department of Justice as they raced against time to expose members of a brutal SS killing force who disappeared in America after World War Two.
“Cenziper brought her investigative skills to bear on the challenge of retrieving the hard facts, but she also possesses the gift of a storyteller….[Citizen 865 is] a highly significant work of investigation that is eye-opening and heartbreaking. She compels us to confront the crimes of the Trawniki men in a way that burns itself into both memory and history.”―Washington Post

In 1990, in a drafty basement archive in Prague, two American historians made a startling discovery: a Nazi roster from 1945 that no Western investigator had ever seen. The long-forgotten document, containing more than 700 names, helped unravel the details behind the most lethal killing operation in World War Two.

In the tiny Polish village of Trawniki, the SS set up a school for mass murder and then recruited a roving army of foot soldiers, 5,000 men strong, to help annihilate the Jewish population of occupied Poland. After the war, some of these men vanished, making their way to the U.S. and blending into communities across America. Though they participated in some of the most unspeakable crimes of the Holocaust, “Trawniki Men” spent years hiding in plain sight, their terrible secrets intact.

In a story spanning seven decades, Citizen 865:  The Hunt for Hitler’s Hidden Soldiers in America (Hachette Books, November 2019) chronicles the harrowing wartime journeys of two Jewish orphans from occupied Poland who outran the men of Trawniki and settled in the United States, only to learn that some of their one-time captors had followed. A tenacious team of prosecutors and historians pursued these men and, up against the forces of time and political opposition, battled to the present day to remove them from U.S. soil.

Through insider accounts and research in four countries, this urgent and powerful narrative provides a front row seat to the dramatic turn of events that allowed a small group of American Nazi hunters to hold murderous men accountable for their crimes after the war was over.

Debbie Cenziper is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter who writes for The Washington Post. She is also the director of investigative reporting at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Over 20 years, Debbie’s stories have sent people to prison, changed laws, prompted federal investigations and produced more funding for affordable housing, mental health care and public schools. She has won many major awards in American print journalism, including the Robert F. Kennedy Award and the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting from Harvard University. She received the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for stories about affordable housing developers in Miami who were stealing from the poor; a year before that, she was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for stories about widespread breakdowns in the nation’s hurricane-tracking system. Debbie grew up in Philadelphia and graduated from the University of Florida in 1992.


31 October, 2017

CITIZEN 865, Debbie Cenziper

Pulitzer-Prize Winning Washington Post investigative journalist relates the untold story of how a group of historians-turned-investigators at the U.S. Justice Department pursued one of the last great secrets of the Third Reich, a group of killers known as the Trawniki guards, Soviet soldiers recruited by the S.S. out of POW camps, and how more than dozen were found living decades later in cities and suburbs across America and brought to justice (Hachette Books/Fall 2019/World English).

 


12 July, 2016

LOVE WINS, Debbie Cenziper & Jim Obergefell

The fascinating and very moving story of the lovers, lawyers, judges and activists behind the LoveWins jacket rev2_FINALgroundbreaking Supreme Court case that led to one of the most important, national civil rights victories in decades—the legalization of same-sex marriage. (William Morrow/HarperCollins, June 2016)

In June 2015, the Supreme Court made same-sex marriage the law in all fifty states in a decision as groundbreaking as Roe v Wade and Brown v Board of Education. Through insider accounts and access to key players, this definitive account reveals the dramatic and previously unreported events behind Obergefell v Hodges and the lives at its center. This is a story of law and love—and a promise made to a dying man who wanted to know how he would be remembered.

Twenty years ago, Jim Obergefell and John Arthur fell in love in Cincinnati, Ohio, a place where gays were routinely picked up by police and fired from their jobs. In 2013, the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government had to provide married gay couples all the benefits offered to straight couples. Jim and John—who was dying from ALS—flew to Maryland, where same-sex marriage was legal. But back home, Ohio refused to recognize their union, or even list Jim’s name on John’s death certificate. Then they met Al Gerhardstein, a courageous attorney who had spent nearly three decades advocating for civil rights and who now saw an opening for the cause that few others had before him.

This forceful and deeply affecting narrative—Part Erin Brockovich, part Milk, part Still Alice—chronicles how this grieving man and his lawyer, against overwhelming odds, introduced the most important gay rights case in U.S. history. It is an urgent and unforgettable account that will inspire readers for many years to come.

Love Wins is a real winner and expertly crafted. You can tell it’s going to make a great movie.” (Bob Woodward)

“Beautifully told and carefully researched, Love Wins is a deeply moving insider’s account of the ordinary families who took the fight for marriage equality to the Supreme Court and won. . . . Though love may not always win, America really does stand for liberty and justice for all.” (Kathleen Parker, syndicated Washington Post columnist)

“[An] affecting, eloquent account… Uplifting, well-written story of personal courage and political empowerment.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“A tender story, inspiring, and ultimately a huge celebration. . . . You will never forget Jim Obergefell and his lawyer Al Gerhardstein, two men who fought with every ounce of will they could muster. This book will become a classic.” (Erin Brockovich)

“Love Wins is an affecting testament to love and commitment in the face of discrimination. . . . I am recommending Love Wins to everyone I know. Rarely does a book of such uncommon beauty come around, one that digs beneath the headlines to its human heart.” (John Grogan, author of Marley & Me and The Longest Trip Home)

“Told with a novel’s narrative drive…. Taut, tense, and highly readable…. A remarkably rich portrait of America…. An excellent choice for book groups looking for exciting nonfiction.” (Booklist (starred review))

“A fascinating look at the fight for gay marriage.” (Library Journal)

“Th[is] gripping narrative conveys how the fatal illness of one man and the question for justice of another led to the important decision that said the right to marry applies to all Americans.” (Los Angeles Times)

“…A fascinating read…” (Cincinnati Enquirer)

“This gripping portrayal of the pivotal moment in the fight for marriage equality in Ohio includes childhood memories and romance a well as tense moments in court. . . . Readers will feel they’ve been completely guided into seeing the people behind the cases.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Deeply reported, vividly detailed, utterly humane… Grabs the reader and never lets go… Written with a novelist’s attention to scene description and character-revealing action… An exemplary account that anyone, no matter his or her ideological orientation, might read with both pleasure and insight.” (The Charlotte Observer)

“Bring the tissues for this powerful tale of the triumph of marriage equality. . . . A downright joy to read.” (The Washington Post)


5 July, 2016

Cenziper

Debbie Cenziper is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter and nonfiction author who writes for The Washington Post. She is also the newly named Director of Investigative Reporting at the Medill School of Journalism, Media and Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University.

Over 20 years, Cenziper’s stories have sent people to prison, changed local, state and federal laws, prompted FBI and Congressional investigations and produced more funding for affordable housing, mental health care and public schools. She has won many major awards in American print journalism, including the Robert F. Kennedy Award, given by Ethel Kennedy and the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights, and the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting from Harvard University.

She received the 2007 Pulitzer Prize at The Miami Herald for stories about affordable housing developers who were stealing from the poor. The series prompted a federal takeover of the Miami-Dade housing agency. A year before that, Cenziper was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in explanatory reporting for reports that chronicled widespread breakdowns in the government’s multi-billion-dollar hurricane-warning system.

Cenziper is a frequent speaker at universities, national writing conferences, book clubs and festivals. She has been a guest on dozens of television and radio shows, including CNN, MSNBC and NPR’s Talk of the Nation. Cenziper and her stories at The Miami Herald were featured in a national PBS documentary on investigative reporting; her work at The Washington Post was featured in an award-winning, full-length documentary film, released nationwide in 2013.

In June 2017, she was even named in a question on the game show Jeopardy! Host Alex Trebec asked contestants, “Like Bob Woodward at The Washington Post, Debbie Cenziper is this type of reporter, from the Latin for ‘to track.’”

Cenziper’s first critically acclaimed nonfiction book, Love Wins: The Lovers and Lawyers Who Fought the Landmark Case for Marriage Equality (William Morrow) received a starred review from Booklist and was named one of the most notable books of 2016 by The Washington Post. The book was co-authored with Jim Obergefell, the named plaintiff in the historic Supreme Court case.

Citizen 865: The Hunt for Hitler’s Hidden Soldiers in America  from  Hachette Books publishes November 12. The book relates the gripping story of a team of Nazi hunters at the U.S. Department of Justice as they raced against time to expose members of a brutal SS killing force who disappeared in America after World War Two.

Cenziper lives near Washington, D.C.  For more, go to www.debbiecenziper.com

 


22 July, 2015

21 YEARS TO MIDNIGHT: The Promise That Brought Marriage Equality to America, Debbie Cenziper & Jim Obergefell

Lead plaintiff in the lawsuit that resulted in the right to same-sex marriage in all fifty states Jim Obergefell and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist of The Washington Post Debbie Cenziper’s 21 YEARS TO MIDNIGHT: The Promise That Brought Marriage Equality, will not only tell his story, but also the larger narrative that covers what this decision means for America for publication in June 2016 to mark the first anniversary of that decision.  (North American/William Morrow; UK/Headline; Australia/Affirm Press) Optioned for Film by Temple Hill Productions/Fox 2000.