Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Monday, March 26, 2018

My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me: A Black Woman Discovers her Family’s Nazi Past by Jennifer Teege and Nikola Sellmair, 2011,in Translation 2013

My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me: A Black Woman Discovers her Family’s Nazi Past by Jennifer Teege and Nikola Sellmair was a huge international best seller, first published in Germany. It is a combination personal memoir and Holocaust history.

Teege’s father was Nigerian, her mother German.  She was given up for adaption at four weeks and became part of a wonderful German Family, with two older brothers and very supportive parents. Teege talks about the challenges of growing black in Germany but her story begins when, at age 38, while visiting a library, she by accident finds a book that will change her life.  She did know her biological grandmother and in a book on the Holocaust discovered her grandfather was the concentration camp commandant made famous in the film Schindler’s List.  She saw pictures of Amon Goeth and her grandmother living in a nice house.  She thought how could her grandmother, who seemed so wonderful, live in luxury in the camp and love a vicious killer. From the balcony of the house her grandfather would, just for fun, shoot inmates at random. This discovery devastated Teege. Teege elegantly and movingly relays her difficulties in coping with this. 

Niloka Sellmair, in alternating chapters tells us more of Teege’s life history and of her grandfather.

This is a very well done book.  It was translated from German by Carolin Sommer.  

I’m quite behind on my posting so I am just being briefly here.  

JENNIFER TEEGE has worked in advertising since 1999. Teege studied Middle Eastern and African studies in Israel, where she also learned fluent Hebrew. Teege lives in Germany with her husband and two sons. This is her first book. For more information about Jennifer Teege, please visit She is available for speaking engagements. Please contact speakersbureau@ 

NIKOLA SELLMAIR graduated from Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich and has worked in Hong Kong, Washington, D.C., Israel, and Palestine. She has been a reporter in Hamburg at Germany’s Stern magazine since 2000. Her work has received many awards, including the German-Polish Journalist Award, for the first-ever article about Jennifer Teege’s singular story.

Mel u

No comments: