My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me: A Black Woman Discovers Her Family’s Nazi Past

Posted in Autobiography, Biography, Books, Europe, History, Media Archive, Monographs on 2017-04-02 14:38Z by Steven

My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me: A Black Woman Discovers Her Family’s Nazi Past

The Experiment
240 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 9781615192533
Paperback ISBN: 9781615193080

Jennifer Teege and Nikola Sellmair
Translated by Carolin Sommer

At age 38, Jennifer Teege happened to pluck a library book from the shelf—and discovered a horrifying fact: Her grandfather was Amon Goeth, the vicious Nazi commandant depicted in Schindler’s List. Reviled as the “butcher of Płaszów,” Goeth was executed in 1946. The more Teege learned about him, the more certain she became: If her grandfather had met her—a black woman—he would have killed her.

Teege’s discovery sends her into a severe depression—and fills her with questions: Why did her birth mother withhold this chilling secret? How could her grandmother have loved a mass murderer? Can evil be inherited?

Teege’s story is cowritten by Nikola Sellmair, who also adds historical context and insight from Teege’s family and friends, in an interwoven narrative. Ultimately, Teege’s search for the truth leads her, step by step, to the possibility of her own liberation.

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Mixed-race descendant of Nazi murderer tells of life

Posted in Autobiography, Book/Video Reviews, Europe, Media Archive on 2015-11-20 02:33Z by Steven

Mixed-race descendant of Nazi murderer tells of life

San Diego Jewish World

David Strom, Professor Emeritus of Education
San Diego State University, San Diego, California

My Grandfather Would have Shot Me [Amon: Mein Großvater hätte mich erschossen], by Jennifer Teege and Nikola Sellmair. The Experiment, Pub. 2015, 221pp

SAN DIEGO — At the age of 38 Jennifer Teege was at the Hamburg central library. There she glanced at a book with a red cover and was drawn to it. From photographs in the book, Jennifer discovered that it was about people she vaguely remembered—her mother and grandmother. She took the book home and read it from cover to cover. The most amazing and shocking thing she learned was that her maternal grandfather, Amon Goeth, the butcher commandant of Plaszow concentration camp near Krakow, was not killed fighting in the war but was hanged for his crimes (The actor Ralph Fiennes played Amon Goeth in the movie Schindler’s List.)

Now she understood why no one told her or spoke about her background. Jennifer knew that her grandfather would have murdered her since she was a mixed-race black German-Nigerian. Learning the truth about her ancestry threw Jennifer in a deep depression. But it did lead to a rather tentative reconnection with her mother, Monika Hertwig, who she hadn’t seen in years…

Read the entire review here.

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Amon: Mein Großvater hätte mich erschossen [Amon: My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me]

Posted in Autobiography, Biography, Books, Europe, Media Archive, Monographs on 2014-01-17 20:08Z by Steven

Amon: Mein Großvater hätte mich erschossen [Amon: My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me]

Rowohlt Verlag
272 pages
Hardcover ISBN 978-3-498-06493-8

Jennifer Teege with Nikola Sellmair

Es ist ein Schock, der ihr ganzes Selbstverständnis erschüttert: Mit 38 Jahren erfährt Jennifer Teege durch einen Zufall, wer sie ist. In einer Bibliothek findet sie ein Buch über ihre Mutter und ihren Großvater Amon Göth. Millionen Menschen kennen Göths Geschichte. In Steven Spielbergs Film «Schindlers Liste» ist der brutale KZ-Kommandant der Saufkumpan und Gegenspieler des Judenretters Oskar Schindler. Göth war verantwortlich für den Tod tausender Menschen und wurde 1946 gehängt. Seine Lebensgefährtin Ruth Irene, Jennifer Teeges geliebte Großmutter, begeht 1983 Selbstmord.

Jennifer Teege ist die Tochter einer Deutschen und eines Nigerianers. Sie wurde bei Adoptiveltern groß und hat danach in Israel studiert. Jetzt ist sie mit einem Familiengeheimnis konfrontiert, das sie nicht mehr ruhen lässt. Wie kann sie ihren jüdischen Freunden noch unter die Augen treten? Und was soll sie ihren eigenen Kindern erzählen? Jennifer Teege beschäftigt sich intensiv mit der Vergangenheit. Sie trifft ihre Mutter wieder, die sie viele Jahre nicht gesehen hat.

Gemeinsam mit der Journalistin Nikola Sellmair recherchiert sie ihre Familiengeschichte, sucht die Orte der Vergangenheit noch einmal auf, reist nach Israel und nach Polen. Schritt für Schritt wird aus dem Schock über die Abgründe der eigenen Familie die Geschichte einer Befreiung.

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