London Times writers’ top picks of 2015
A nice surprise today in the Times Book section where columnist Melanie Phillips has selected “Stolen Legacy” as one of her three favorite books of the year. It is listed alongside her other two recommended authors – the illustrious Niall Ferguson and Michel Houellebecq. To be in such company is truly flattering.
The Local Germany
One day ahead of a meeting to decide the future of the Kurt Hamann Stiftung (Foundation) at Mannheim University, the German online newspaper, The Local, published a story on the issue. The Victoria insurance company (now part of ERGO insurance) had foreclosed in the late 1930s not only on the building once owned by my family but had also expropriated many other Jewish-owned properties and businesses. Dr. Kurt Hamann had been chairman before, during and after the war. Is this really a suitable person to be honored with a foundation in his name? I am waiting to find out.
College of Staten Island Hillel
Great to meet all the friendly members who came to hear me talk about the book. Always interesting to hear of other families’ attempts to reclaim their lost properties and the struggles they have endured.
One lady told me that, at the end of the Second World War, she had embarked on a twenty year long legal battle in West Germany to get restitution of buildings owned by her father. Someone else told me that his family had once had properties in Poland, but had long ago given up any hope of ever possessing them again.
National Press Club
At the Press Club’s 38th Annual Book Fair and Authors’ Night. A great turnout and wonderful to meet so many interested readers. People stopped by my table to ask lots of questions and were genuinely keen to know more about the story.
Detroit Jewish Book Fair 2015
Speaking at the 64th Annual Jewish Book Fair on the anniversary of Kristallnacht.
The event was held in the Janice Charach Gallery of the magnificent building of the Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit.
Lovely to see a packed audience and to meet so many people with such amazing, and often tragic, stories to tell.