Since some other recent Holocaust memoirs, such as Binjamin Wilkomirski's Fragments: Memories of a Wartime Childhood, Herman Rosenblat's Angel at the Fence, and Misha Defonseca's Misha: A Mémoire of the Holocaust Years, have proven to be false in part or in full, it is not surprising that Kurzem's amazing story would be greeted with some skepticism. And indeed, I was initially skeptical. After all, part of the story is based on a 70-year-old man's recollection of events when he was 5 years old. But the documentation provided, including photographs, convinces me that the main lines of the story are genuine, although some minor details may be incorrect.
The book depicts Latvian fascists in a rather unflattering light, so it is not surprising that some far right and Latvian groups want to cast doubt on Kurzem's story. For example, 60 Minutes did a segment on Kurzem, and some of the comments are nasty and anti-Semitic:
Jerzy Ulicki-Rek, for example, says "As 56 years old sane man who studies "holo-history" and "holo-miracles" since over 20 years I do not believe in yours crazy story", while an anonymous commenter writes "Z.O.G. is at it again." (Z.O.G., in case you didn't know, is a neo-Nazi abbreviation for "Zionist Occupation Government", the supposed control of the government by Jews.)
Edith S. Kubicek on amazon writes "For the past year grave doubts have been raised concerning the veracity of this compelling tale. The doubts were first initiated by the Latvian community in Australia and a number of U.S. researchers now agree that this book may be a complete hoax." But she does not mention any of these "U.S. researchers" by name, and the book is so well-documented it seems difficult to doubt large parts of the story.
The book is well-written, almost like a mystery. I'd definitely recommend this surprising and unsettling book to anyone interested in World War II or Holocaust history.
Postscript (June 30 2022). Well, despite the disgraceful comments of people like Jerzy Ulicki-Rek, Kurzem's story has now been confirmed by DNA. See here. Will all the naysayers who commented admit they were wrong? I doubt it.