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What strange and unexpected paths might one author take delving into his family's history?

Menachem Kaiser--author of Plunder: A Memoir of Family Property and Nazi Treasure, a New York Times Editor’s Choice and People Magazine Best New Book of 2021--shares with Eve and Julie how his attempts to reclaim a building that had belonged to his family before World War II led to familial and historical discovery. They discuss how, during his time in Poland, Menachem developed a greater consciousness of the moral and legal justifications for, and ramifications of, reparations; what it was like being embraced by Nazi treasure hunters whose ambitions resonated oddly with his; and how the celebrated myth of his grandfather’s cousin--a Holocaust survivor whose diary of his time building underground Nazi tunnels made him renowned among the treasure hunters--endures while the memory of the man himself fades.

Plunder: A Memoir of Family Property and Nazi Treasure

“Often hilarious, often poignant … A light tone belies the book’s seriousness of purpose: to tease out thorny issues of inheritance, reparations, and what it means to honor one’s dead.” —New Yorker

Go Deeper

Menachem Kaiser

Plunder: A Memoir of Family Property and Nazi Treasure, by Menachem Kaiser

Silesia, South West province of Poland

Project Riese

Abraham Kaiser, Menachem Kaiser's grandfather's cousin

Za Drutami Śmierci, by Abraham Kaiser

Eve Yohalem

Julie Sternberg

Book Dreams Podcast


Lit Hub Radio

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