Coming to grips with grandfather’s Nazi past

JCC-My-Grandfather-Would-Have-Shot-MeThursday, March 31, 7:00 p.m., Mayerson JCC, 8485 Ridge Road

At the age of 38, with a family and established career, Jennifer Teege learned a shattering secret about her lineage: She is a descendant of a sadistic Nazi commander.

Born to a German mother and a Nigerian father, Teege realized that her own grandfather, Amon Goeth, would have viewed her as less than human.

As she processed the shock and gathered her thoughts over the next two years, Teege realized that her connection to a horrendous history didn’t define her. She went on to author the best-selling memoir “My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me.”

Using this as the baseline for her presentation at the Mayerson JCC, Teege will discuss her beliefs about humanity, defying the expectations placed on us by our lineage, and the obligation to educate others.

She has appeared on C-SPAN, BBC and NPR. Her stop at the Mayerson JCC in Cincinnati on March 31 is part of her 2016 U.S. book tour.

The discussion is sponsored by the JCC and the Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education. In addition to her discussion, the JCC has sponsored a lunch talk with Teege and University of Cincinnati German Studies, Africana Studies, Judaic Studies and Cincinnati Hillel students.

“Teege’s book and experience explores issues of history, identity, adoption, culpability, morality, love, betrayal and acceptance through a complex and deeply personal lens,” said Nina Perlove Croog, programming director at the JCC. “We’re very happy to have her here and, despite the unbelievable circumstances of her life story, we know that there will be relatable elements for everyone who attends.”

Tickets are $10, books are $25.

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