Eyewitness History
Listen on Your Favorite App

Author Jackie Kohnstamm Reveals A Deeply Personal Account Of Her Family’s Experience Of The Holocaust

May 19, 2023
00:00 29:12
Listen on Your Favorite App

Jackie Kohnstamm grew up in North London, where she still lives. She studied an ancient Jewish community in France for her PhD, never guessing how the skills acquired then would later help her delve into her own family story. She has lectured in higher education and written short stories and plays for BBC radio and the stage. Jackie is nourished by lengthy meals with friends and by her garden on the wild side. If she hits a winning shot at tennis, that’s a bonus. The Memory Keeper is her first book. One night some time after her mother’s death, Jackie Googled her grandparents’ names on a whim. Where previous searches had come up blank, this time she had a surprise: only four days earlier, two Stolpersteine (‘stumble stones’) had been laid outside the house in Berlin where they had once lived. Someone – a stranger – had commissioned this memorial to her grandparents, each listing their name, year of birth, date of deportation to Theresienstadt and date of their murder by the Nazis. Here, then, was the first step, and what followed was a remarkable story of loss, discovery, community and memory. - A deeply personal account of one family’s experience of the Holocaust, showing the devastating impact of seemingly tiny decisions made during Hitler’s rise. - Contains family photographs, official documentation and – most poignantly – transcripts of letters sent between the family members in the 1930s and 1940s, as Jewish lives were increasingly restricted and Kohnstamm’s mother and her siblings tried to persuade their parents to flee. - A moving insight into the work being done by groups all over Germany to commemorate and remember those lost during the Holocaust – and a vital reminder of just how easily fascism can rise when apathy or hatred prevails.

More Episodes
See all episodes
Meet Your Host
Meet Your Host
Josh Cohen is a journalist and commentator living out of the Midwest.

He has written for a number of reputable publications.

His fascination with history is in the story of our existence and how it is told. Keeping the tradition of storytelling alive in Eyewitness History is what drives him.
Podcasts About Us Contact Us Newsletters