Searching for Papa’s Secrets in Hitler’s Berlin.
Egonne Roth’s book is a moving journey of discovery into the unexplored
continent that is often our families’ past. It can be read as a reconstruction
of one’s own Jewish and at the same time European-South African roots, but
through these micro-histories we arrive at the events of the Second World
War and the Holocaust to the level of macro-history. Roth’s work brilliantly
illustrates the complex mechanism of intergenerational, communicative
memory and cultural memory (described by Jan and Aleida Assmann, among
others ). On a feminist level, it is also a personal history of the daughter-father
relationship, leading to a kind of purification, a catharsis. The detective-like
reconstruction of the multi-ethnic segments of the family’s history has as its
backdrop the arduous completion of one’s own biography from scraps of
documents, accounts of the now few witnesses, secrets, and traumas hidden
for decades. This is an extremely fascinating read!
– Prof dr. hab Magdalena Koch, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland
Egonne Roth is an Israeli-South African writer, who was born in Cape Town and now lives in
Nahariya, Israel. Her first book, Olga Kirsch, a Life in Poetry, (Naledi, 2018) was published in
both English and Afrikaans to critical acclaim. As the daughter of an immigrant father, who
survived Hitler’s Berlin as a half Jew, this memoir is the exploration of how his experiences
shaped her life.
213 x 137 mm