My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me by Jennifer Teege & Nikola Sellmair
Paperback: 240 Pages
Publisher: The Experiment (April 5, 2016)
Synopsis: 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 Plaszów,” 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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Jennifer Teege’s story of discovery is truly heart wrenching and inspiring at the same time. In her late 30’s she discovered that her biological grandfather was a Nazi – no not just any Nazi – a well known Nazi nicknamed the “butcher of Plaszov” and accurately portrayed in the well-known film Schindler’s List. As a half African-American woman, she came to the realization that not just was her biological grandfather responsible for thousands of deaths, he also would have killed her as well. This sent her into a deep depression and left her searching for answers about her heritage.
The book follows Jennifer’s journey as she goes on a mission to learn more about her biological family, who she only remembers from brief childhood memories. Her journey is broken up with historical background knowledge from Nikola Sellmair, which really helped to offer more historical context to Jennifer’s story.
This true story read almost like a fiction story, which made it much more enjoyable. There was a little suspense and a lot of interesting historical facts showing the high amount of research that went into the story. However, it is important to note that book was originally written in German and translated to English, so there were a few spots where the translation doesn’t make sense, but it didn’t take away from the overall story.
*I received this book for free from Thomas Allen & Sons for an honest review*