A German woman who's horrifying revelation about her family's history has turned that revelation into a message of hope that she delivered last night to the Jewish Federation of San Antonio at a fundraiser for the local Holocaust Museum, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
All Jennifer Teege, a German woman of African descent, knew was that she was adopted as a child.
But a chance encounter with a history book at a library revealed the real truth about her biological family. She is the granddaughter of Amon Goeth, the 'Butcher of Plaszow,' the infamous Nazi concentration camp commander who was portrayed chillingly by Ralph Fiennes in the movie 'Schindler's List.'
"I watched the movie 'Schindler's List,' and I lived in Israel for a couple of years, a I watched it in Israel," she told News Radio 1200 WOAI in an interview. "And when I discovered that this man was my biological grandfather, this was very disturbing and petrifying."
Teege's mother, Monika Hertweg, was born in 1945, and was the child of Goeth and a woman he had an affair with while she was actually working at Schindler's enamel ware factory which was depicted in the movie.
Hertweg married a man from Nigeria and had several children, including Jennifer Teege. Teege says she realized Goeth was her grandfather while she was reading her mother's book about her life.
Now Teege, 47, has written her own book book entitled, 'My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me.'
She says that revelation not only turned her into an author, but into a worldwide campaigner for tolerance, and against extremism, and she says that message is particularly important today.
"What happens is something that is not new," she said. "We still find hatred, we still fight prejudice, these are things that are more and more dangerous than they used to be, even a couple of years ago."
She says her unique status with a father who is from Africa and a mother who is the daughter of a vicious, sadistic Nazi, gives her a unique vantage point on the racial extremism which is being seen today from Asia to Africa to Europe and the United States.
"To fight against extremism, against anti-Semitism, against hatred, even if you have to get out of your comfort zone."