What if you discover you’re the granddaughter of an infamous Nazi war criminal.
Jennifer Teege, a 44-year-old Nigerian-German woman from Hamburg, Germany was horrified to learn that her grandfather was a Nazi mass murderer. She learned that she is the granddaughter of Amon Goeth, the former SS commandant of the Plaszow-Krakow concentration camp in Poland, where more than 8,000 people were murdered. Goeth was depicted as a sadistic killer by Ralph Fiennes in “Schindler’s list.” Teege was born from an affair her German mother, Monika Hartwig, had with a Nigerian student. Her mother placed her in an orphanage when she was just four weeks old.
A foster family took her in when she was 3 years old and then adopted her when she was 7. As a child, Teege saw her biological mother and her grandmother occasionally, but they never breathed a word about who her infamous grandfather was.
Teege describes her horrifying discovery in a new book she co-authored: “Amon: My Grandfather Would Have Killed Me.”
She’s told German journalists: “He would have regarded me as a sub-species.”
Teege learned about the family legacy by chance five years ago when she was drawn to a book with a red cover and a woman’s picture in Hamburg’s central library, which has 350,000 volumes. The book titled, “I Have to Love My Father, Right?” was a biography of her mother, who was pictured on the cover.
Teege’s book was published in Germany last fall and currently ranks third on the best-seller list for Der Spiegel, the leading weekly magazine. An English edition is planned for spring 2015.
Mrs Teege’s mother aged 18, left, and her grandmother, right, at Plaszow concentration camp: