Author Jennifer Teege Discusses the Awful Reality of Her Nazi Heritage: My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me

German-Nigerian author Jennifer Teege joins the Library’s Kaite Stover for a public conversation about Teege’s awful discovery – that her grandfather was Amon Goeth, the vicious Nazi commandant chillingly depicted by Ralph Fiennes in Schindler’s List.
Thursday, April 16, 2015
Program: 
6:30 pm
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Sifting through the stacks of her local library in Hamburg, Germany, Jennifer Teege happened upon a book that first fascinated and then staggered her. Recognizing photos of her mother and grandmother, she made the horrifying discovery that her grandfather was Amon Goeth – the vicious Nazi commandant chillingly depicted by Ralph Fiennes in Schindler’s List.

The more Teege read, the more certain she became: If Goeth had met her, a German-Nigerian black woman, he would have killed her.

Teege, who was given up by her mother when very young, sits down with the Library’s Kaite Stover during National Library Week for a public conversation about the revelation and Teege’s subsequent quest to unearth and fully comprehend her family’s haunted history. She chronicles the story in her book with award-winning journalist Nikola Sellmair.

Audio Recording & Transcript

Fri, 04/03/2015
Courtney Lewis,816.701.3669
Author Jennifer Teege Discusses the Awful Reality of Her Nazi Heritage:<br> <em>My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me</em>

(Kansas City, Missouri) - Sifting one day through the stacks of her local library in Hamburg, Germany, Jennifer Teege happened upon a book that first fascinated and then staggered her.

In it, she recognized photos of her mother and grandmother. That led to a horrifying discovery: Her grandfather was Amon Goeth, the vicious Nazi commandant chillingly depicted by Ralph Fiennes in the Oscar-winning film Schindler's List.

The more Teege read, the more certain she became. If Goeth had met her, a German-Nigerian black woman, he would have killed her.

Teege sits down with the Library's Kaite Stover on Thursday, April 16, 2015 - Holocaust Remembrance Day - for a public conversation about the unsettling revelation and its aftermath, which she chronicles in her new book with award-winning journalist Nikola Sellmair, My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me.

The presentation at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St., begins at 6:30 p.m. It takes place during National Library Week.

Teege, who was given up for adoption by her mother when very young, fell into deep depression after her discovery at age 38. She nonetheless embarked on a quest to unearth and fully comprehend her family's connection to the "butcher of Plaszów." Her research took her to Krakow - to the sites of the Jewish ghetto "cleared" by her grandfather in 1943 and the nearby concentration camp he commanded-and back to Israel, home to the world's largest community of Holocaust survivors. Teege had attended college, learned fluent Hebrew, and formed lasting friendships there.

She worked to reconnect with her estranged mother Monika but continued to struggle with the fact that her grandmother Ruth once lived in luxury as Goeth's mistress at Plaszów.

An advertising copywriter, Teege lives in Germany with her husband and two sons.

A 6 p.m. reception precedes the event. Admission is free. RSVP at kclibrary.org or call 816.701.3407. Free parking is available in the Library District parking garage at 10th and Baltimore.

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