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Centuries ago, a coded language developed on the road in Europe that blended words from Yiddish, Hebrew, German, Romani, Czech, and other European languages. Martin Puchner learned to speak it as a boy, only to discover as can adult that his grandfather had been a committed Nazi who despised this “language of thieves.” In his newly-released book The Language of Thieves: My Family’s Obsession with a Secret Code the Nazis Tried to Eliminate, Puchner interweaves family memoir with WWII history and the mysteries of language.

Watch our program below for Puchner and Harvard Magazine writer Marina Bolotnikova’s conversation about this fascinating work. Purchase the book here.