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Conversation with Menachem Kaiser, author of Plunder - Thursday, April 8 at 7:30 PM over Zoom

Menachem Kaiser never knew his paternal grandfather, his namesake, a Polish Jew who had survived the Holocaust. But when Kaiser learns that his grandfather had spent decades trying to reclaim an apartment building in Sosnowiec, Poland, that had been owned by family before the Second World War, he decides to take up the cause, enlisting the help of an attorney known as “The Killer.” He has to navigate seemingly endless bureaucratic hurdles, as well as the moral complexity of confronting those who now live in the building. 

Kaiser then learns of a heretofore unknown relative who had survived World War 2, his grandfather’s first cousin, Abraham. Abraham kept a secret diary while working as a slave laborer on Nazi underground complexes, and this book has become a kind of sacred text among modern-day treasure hunters, and Abraham has become a near-mythological figure. On account of this family connection, Kaiser himself becomes a celebrity among the treasure hunters. 

As Kaiser attempts to reclaim his family’s property, he delves into complex questions about legacy, inheritance, and reclamation and reflects on the fraught relationship between storytelling, truth, and myth in a narrative that sheds new light on the way that we think about history, origin stories, and our relationship to all those who came before us.

Zoom information will be provided upon RSVP.

 

Wed, June 16 2021 6 Tammuz 5781