A Suitcase in the Attic: The ascent and demise of the Uffenheimers and other Jewish families in Southwest Germany 1730 – 1945
List Price: 19.95
Available: October 2014
A Suitcase in the Attic, based on family archives and a profound historical investigation by the author Gabriel Groszman, describes the fate of several German families in the context of the history of the German Jews during two centuries. The narrative takes us from the Jewish Enlightenment and Emancipation through the World Wars and their shattering consequences, culminating in the destruction of Jewish life in Germany during the Holocaust. The family histories, narrated through several generations, refl ect the shared destiny of German Jewry and their achievements in spite of discrimination followed by open persecution leading to exile, death, or in the case of a small fortunate minority, survival. Their stories come to life through letters discovered in the attic of the author’s wife’s stepfather after the latter’s death, along with archives of descendents of other families whose fates are also chronicled in the book, and through the support of historical institutes in Israel, the United States and Germany.
Gabriel Groszman was born in 1930 in a small Hungarian village. When he was 10 years old, his religious Jewish family moved to Budapest under the pressure of anti-Semitic laws. There he attended an Orthodox middle school until 1944, at which time Germany occupied Hungary. During the ensuing twelve months, his family struggled to elude the Nazi death trap. In 1949, they left the country, then under communist rule, for Vienna, where he began his university studies. Three years later, they emigrated to Argentina, where Groszman married, had three children, and built up a successful industrial company. In 2003, he moved with his wife to Florida. He published his memoir My Roots, My Destiny in Spanish in 2009, followed by the German and English translations in August and September 2011, respectively, and the Hungarian in May 2014. He published his second work, A Suitcase in the Attic, a chronicle of several families in the context of the history of German Jewry, in Spanish in 2012, in German in 2013, and in English in 2014.