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Jennifer Teege, “My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me”
Monday, November 9, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Location: ZOOM Online
Facilitator: Dr. Jonathan Wiesen, UAB History Department
The Rita C. Kimerling Public History Endowment, UAB Department of History, and the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center welcome Jennifer Teege, author of the international bestseller, My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me.
Teege’s mother was German; her father was Nigerian. Unable to raise a newborn child, her single mother placed Teege in a children’s home when Teege was four weeks old. In her early childhood, Teege had only intermittent contact with her mother and grandmother; that ended when Teege, age 7, was adopted by a white German family, where she was raised in a loving home. Later, in her twenties, Teege struggled with depression. She went to college in Israel, where she learned fluent Hebrew and earned degrees in Middle Eastern and African studies. She returned to Germany where she began a career in advertising and started a family of her own.
Already coping with the trauma of rejection by her birth mother, Teege now faced other cruel facts: that she had to learn about her biological family’s secret from a book; and that a monstrous man, Amon Göth, reviled for decades as “the butcher of Płaszów,” was her biological grandfather. Göth was the brutal Nazi commandant of Płaszów concentration camp (played so memorably by Ralph Fiennes in Schindler’s List).