Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Nigerian woman reveals she is granddaughter of notorious Schindler List butcher, Amon Goeth

Jennifer Teege (centre), a German-Nigerian author, was shocked to discover that her grandfather was Amon Goeth (left), commandant of the Plaszow concentration camp during the Second World War, who was played by Ralph Fiennes (inset left) in Schindler's List. Her book, Amon: My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me, documents her torment over the link with her bloodthirsty relative who would have regarded her as 'subhuman'. Goeth's daughter Monika, pictured (right and, inset, as a child with her mother Ruth Irene), gave birth to Ms Teege after a brief affair with a Nigerian student. Continue..

Jennifer Teege, left, is the granddaughter of Nazi concentration camp boss Amon Goeth, right

Goeth was a sadist who revelled in the misery of inmates at the camp in Nazi-occupied Poland - in the film Fiennes portrays him shooting at prisoners on their way to forced labour just for fun, while he also drank wine while watching guard dogs tear people to pieces.

Ms Teege, 43, is the daughter of a Nigerian student and the German daughter of Goeth, who was hanged for war crimes in 1946 but went to his death declaring his loyalty to the Nazi cause. 

She was given away shortly after birth - her mother Monika had only enjoyed a 'fling' with her father - and after being fostered she was eventually adopted by a wealthy couple in Munich.Later she stumbled upon a book her mother had written about Goeth, known as the 'Butcher of Plaszow', and decided to explore her own family history.

Goeth's daughter Monika, pictured, gave birth to Ms Teege after an affair with a Nigerian student

'It was like the carpet was ripped out beneath my feet,' Ms Teege said. 'I had to go and lie down on a bench. I called my husband and told him I couldn't drive and needed to be picked up.
'Then I said to my family that I did not want to be disturbed, went to bed and read the book cover to cover.'
She had seen Schindler's List - the story about a German businessman based near Plaszow who rescued Jews working for him during the war - while studying in Israel and made no connection then to Goeth.
She said: 'Even though my birth name is Goeth, it wasn't written out on the screen so when I heard it in the film it didn't even occur to me that there could be a link.' 

 Monika pictured as a small child with her mother, Goeth's mistress Ruth Irene

Mother-of-two Jennifer was visited by her grandmother Ruth - Goeth's former secretary who gave birth to Monika in 1945 - as she was growing up. 'Now I know that, as I have black skin, he would have seen me a subhuman like the Jews he killed,' she said.
Since embarking on her journey of discovery she has visited the ruins of Plaszow, outside Krakow, and seen the house which still stands outside it where her grandfather lived as master of life and death.
She is estranged from her mother, now known as Monika Hertwig, who gave interviews to an Israeli documentary team in 2010 in a film about the lives of children of Nazi killers.
Ms Hertwig stood outside the house where her father lived and said: 'My Nazi father shot women with babies in their arms from this balcony, I am tormented by how much of him is in me.'

Ms Teege added: 'My mother was absolutely unable to cope with her own history. And she wanted to protect me by keeping me in the dark about it.
'Once I learned about my family's past, I had to make a conscious decision to live in the here and now.' 
She calls her story 'gripping and original,' and says she hopes that people weighed down with guilt about their family pasts will draw inspiration from it.
'My story is about the fact that it's possible to move beyond repression to gain a kind of personal freedom from the past by finding out who you really are,' she said.

Goeth was played by Ralph Fiennes, right, in 1993 blockbuster Schindler's List

 Goeth was executed after being convicted of war crimes but remained devoted to the Nazi cause
Amon Goeth (1908-46) was one of the most notorious SS captains, known as the 'Butcher of Plaszow' after the concentration camp where he tormented inmates during the Second World War.
He started participating in ultra-nationalist and anti-semitic politics while he was just a teenager, joined the SS in 1930, and in 1943 was appointed to oversee the construction of Plaszow, in German-occupied Poland.
Thousands of Jews from the Krakow ghetto were transported to the camp, where they were subjected to forced labour - and Goeth's vicious whims.

Culled from UK Daily Mail

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