My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me… A Black Woman Discovers Her Nazi Past
My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me caught my eye immediately due to the jarring title.
It’s a personal story of Jennifer Teege who at 38, finds a book in a library which reveals her true identity. Her Grandfather was Amon Goeth (depicted by Ralph Fiennes in Schindler’s List), a Nazi war criminal with a list of evil deeds attached to him. Jennifer is mixed race, how can this possibly be? This true story is a fascinating account of not only the relatives of those responsible for holocaust, but that of adoption, confusion and abandonment.
I found Jennifer’s tale really interesting. The personal details and accounts would have been hard to share, but felt this was part of her therapy. I did find the prose quite detached and cold throughout, almost as if she was telling the story on behalf of someone else. I’m not sure if this is the German translation, or how the author feels herself at times.
A must read for anyone interested in WW2. We seem to remember the gut wrenching atrocities and genocide with respect and anger. Yet we block out the fact that these crimes and mass murders were carried out by fathers, lovers, mothers and grandmothers who were complicit. Unveiling the psyche of these people and the fallout of the next generation is a story which needs to be told.
4 out of 5 stars from me.
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