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Virtual Book Talk: Menachem Kaiser: Plunder

March 15 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

We are pleased to announce the newest event in our Excavation-Confrontation-Repair? Family Histories of the Holocaust Event Series, which explores the meaning and legacy of family research into the Holocaust. The Library is delighted to welcome Menachem Kaiser, author of Plunder: A Memoir of Family Property and Nazi Treasure, who will be in conversation with Christine Schmidt, Deputy Director and Head of Research, for this virtual event.

From a gifted young writer, the story of his quest to reclaim his family’s apartment building in Poland – and of the astonishing entanglement with Nazi treasure hunters that follows Menachem Kaiser’s brilliantly told story, woven from improbable events and profound revelations, is set in motion when the author takes up his Holocaust-survivor grandfather’s former battle to reclaim the family’s apartment building in Sosnowiec, Poland. Soon, he is on a circuitous path to encounters with the long-time residents of the building, and with a Polish lawyer known as “The Killer.” A surprise discovery – that his grandfather’s cousin not only survived the Second World War but wrote a secret memoir while a slave laborer in a vast, secret Nazi tunnel complex-leads to Kaiser being adopted as a virtual celebrity by a band of Silesian treasure-seekers who revere the memoir as the indispensable guidebook to Nazi plunder. Propelled by rich original research, Kaiser immerses readers in profound questions that reach far beyond his personal quest. What does it mean to seize your own legacy? Can reclaimed property repair rifts among the living? Plunder is both a deeply immersive adventure story and an irreverent, daring interrogation of inheritance – material, spiritual, familial, and emotional.

About the speakers:

Menachem Kaiser holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan and was a Fulbright Fellow to Lithuania. His writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, New York, and elsewhere. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Dr Christine Schmidt is Deputy Director and Head of Research at The Wiener Holocaust Library, London, where she oversees academic outreach and programming.

Event guidelines:

1. The Library will send you a Zoom link and joining instructions via email prior to the event. Please check your junk email folders.

2. Please try and join 5 minutes before the event start time and we will let you into the room (do try and bear with us if this takes a few minutes).

3. If you would like to ask a question during the event, please type your question into the chat function, and we will endeavour to answer as many questions as possible during the Q&A. Your webcam will not be seen during this event.

4. The event will be recorded for the Library’s YouTube channel and will be shared at a later date.

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