Jennifer Teege to speak at campaign event Nov. 5

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“I have entered a chamber of horrors …. Slowly I begin to grasp that the Amon Goeth in the film ‘Schindler’s List’ is not a fictional character, but a person who actually existed in flesh and blood. A man who killed people by the dozens and, what is more, who enjoyed it. My grandfather. I am the granddaughter of a mass murderer.”

This excerpt from Jennifer Teege’s book, “My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me: A Black Woman Discovers Her Family’s Nazi Past,” tells of the defining moment in her life, the moment she discovered a shocking family secret: Her maternal grandfather was a notorious Nazi concentration camp commander.

Susan and Michael Eides, chairs for “An Evening with Jennifer Teege,” encourage “our whole community, family and friends to join in support of the Jewish Alliance’s Annual Campaign, featuring this New York Times best-selling author.” 

Teege will share her transformative story on Sunday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m. at the Alliance’s Dwares Jewish Community Center, in Providence.

Through the exploration of themes that include family, repentance, history and personal perseverance, Teege will explain this horrifying personal experience and how she ultimately coped and healed.

Teege, a Nigerian-German who was adopted as a young child, discovered that her birth mother’s father was Nazi concentration camp commander Amon Goeth after randomly selecting a book in the Hamburg Library. On that day, Teege learned that she – a black German woman who had gone to college in Israel and befriended the descendants of Holocaust survivors, who had a successful career and a loving family – was the granddaughter of a monster.

It was a moment that split Teege’s life into two. There was the “before,” when she knew nothing of her family’s sinister past, and “after,” when she was forced to live with and face that truth.

The revelation initially propelled Teege into a downward spiral of depression, but later motivated her to visit Poland, and return to Israel, and connect the dots between parts of her family and Germany’s national history.

Teege’s presentation will be “empowering, inspiring, and certainly leave everyone with an unforgettable message,” Eides said.

The event is free for those who make a gift of any amount to the Alliance’s 2018 Annual Campaign. The generosity of the Alliance’s donors allows thousands of people locally and around the world to live safer and more fulfilling lives.

Prior to the event, a reception will be held for Pacesetter and Lion of Judah donors, at 5:30 p.m., and for Double Chai Society members at 6 p.m.

For more information or to RSVP, email Michele Gallagher at mgallagher@jewishallianceri.org,  call 401-421-4111, ext. 165, or go to jewishallianceri.org.

STEPHANIE HAGUE (shague@jewishallianceri.org) is the philanthropy officer at the Jewish Alliance.