Germany: Granddaughter of Nazi concentration camp commander writes book
German author Jennifer Teege has released a book called Amon: My Granddad Would Have Shot Me. In it, the author describes her painful self-discovery and search for her roots after recently learning she is the grandchild of Amon Göth.
Göth's name is forever etched into the memory of many as that of the sadistic commander of the Plaszow concentration camp near Krakow in Poland. Göth served Adolf Hitler by murdering in the name of a racially pure Germany, but his granddaughter is half-black.
The online news server of Czech Television reports that Göth's daughter conceived Jennifer with a man from Nigeria. She then placed her in an institution shortly after she was born.
"I was adopted. I was in touch with my actual family, but only until the age of seven," Českátelevize.cz quotes Teege as saying.
Teege has become a successful advertising professional and mother of two. She lived in Israel for several years and recently only knew of Göth from the film "Schindler's List", where he was portrayed by British actor Ralph Fiennes.
According to historical documents, Göth personally murdered at least 500 prisoners. He enjoyed shooting them dead himself and, according to eyewitness testimonies, also set dogs on them that were cared for by Teege's grandmother.
Just before her 40th birthday, Teege randomly found a book written by her mother at the library and recognized her grandmother in it. "That situation at the library was so horrible and surprising. I left with the book in my hand and collapsed on a bench," Českátelevize.cz quotes Teege as saying.
She spent the next months in a serious depression. She slept most of the day and admits to looking at herself in the mirror to see whether she had any of Göth's features.
Teege then decided to face her family's past. She re-established contact with her birth mother and then wrote a book about her painful journey of self-discovery.
Speaking in an interview with Die Welt, Teege said: "I know what I want in life and what I want written on my tombstone. It shouldn't read 'Here lies the granddaughter of Amon Göth', but 'She was her own person' - and hopefully that I brought others a great deal of joy and knowledge as well."
Giving public readings is one way Teege is coming to terms with the horrible history of her family. She says she was most relieved when she was able to lay flowers at the memorial to the victims of her grandfather.
Jennifer Teege was born in 1970 in Munich to Göth's daugher, Monika, and a student from Nigeria. Her mother, traumatized by her family background, placed Jennifer in an institution.
In the beginning Monika regularly visited Jennifer there and even took her to visit her grandmother, Ruth Irene Kalder, who had been Göth's partner. At the age of seven Jennifer was adopted and grew up in a family in Munich with two blonde brothers.
She studied at the Sorbonne and lived for five years in Israel. After returning to Hamburg, she met her current partner, with whom she has two children.
Teege did not learn that she was the granddaughter of Göth, the "butcher of Plaszow" who was executed in Poland in 1946, until she was 38 years old. She remembered her birth mother from her childhood and met with her again in her twenties.
Teege's mother never told her of her actual origins, perhaps because she is one of the people her grandfather would have considered a member of an inferior race. One of those he would have been glad to murder.
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