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






A young writer documents the story of his effort to reclaim his Holocaust-survivor grandfather's family apartment building in Poland, detailing his grandfather's firsthand experiences as a slave laborer and his own confrontations with Nazi treasure hunters. 30,000 first printing. Illustrations. Maps.





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.





When you go adventuring, you never know what you may find. Fulbright fellow Kaiser invites the reader to share his journey to reclaim family property lost during the Holocaust. The twists and turns are many and complex, primarily involving dives into Jewish culture and history, treasure hunters, a Jewish survivor's memoir/diary, and the bureaucratic nightmare of the Polish legal system. Family is what holds all of these threads together, and what makes Kaiser's account so engaging is the skill with which he weaves everything together in multiple dimensions; even the title has many meanings. Consequently, this is much more than a legal case to assert ownership of an apartment building or a grandson continuing his grandfather's quest. Tragedy, regret, loss, the desperate struggle for survival, and despair saturate this Holocaust story, but Kaiser renders them carefully, so as not to overwhelm his findings about myth and meaning in memory. This exceptional book will deeply engage readers interested in Jewish, Polish, and WWII history, especially the Holocaust and its aftermath, including the redemptive hunt for family treasures stolen by the Nazis. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.





When you go adventuring, you never know what you may find. Fulbright fellow Kaiser invites the reader to share his journey to reclaim family property lost during the Holocaust. The twists and turns are many and complex, primarily involving dives into Jewish culture and history, treasure hunters, a Jewish survivor's memoir/diary, and the bureaucratic nightmare of the Polish legal system. Family is what holds all of these threads together, and what makes Kaiser's account so engaging is the skill with which he weaves everything together in multiple dimensions; even the title has many meanings. Consequently, this is much more than a legal case to assert ownership of an apartment building or a grandson continuing his grandfather's quest. Tragedy, regret, loss, the desperate struggle for survival, and despair saturate this Holocaust story, but Kaiser renders them carefully, so as not to overwhelm his findings about myth and meaning in memory. This exceptional book will deeply engage readers interested in Jewish, Polish, and WWII history, especially the Holocaust and its aftermath, including the redemptive hunt for family treasures stolen by the Nazis. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.





In a literate, constantly surprising quest, the grandson of a Holocaust survivor returns to Poland to lay claim to the things of the past. Early on, Kaiser writes of the "pit stops in the obituary" of his late paternal grandfather, who died in 1977. The author knew that he was born in Poland, survived the Holocaust, and was the sole member of his family to have lived through the terror. Kaiser traveled to Sosnowiec, in south-central Poland, not just to search out family history, but also to explore his grandfather's claim to family property seized by Nazis. The latter journey took him deep inside the workings of the Polish legal system, with numerous false leads and misinformation throwing him off the trail. It didn't help that the Krak√≥w lawyer he hired, nicknamed "The Killer," wasn't exactly deft with the requisite paperwork. When the author located what he thought was the family property, he encountered a longtime resident who told him, "This is my family's house." Kaiser thought to himself, "it wasn't said defensively or threateningly, he only meant to show off his English," but it became clear to him that a successful claim would displace others, presenting one of many moral quandaries. Along his path, the author learned about his grandfather's cousin, who also survived the Nazi occupation, working as a slave laborer in a mysterious tunnel complex that the Nazis had built even as World War II was turning against them. Kaiser's parallel quest then took him into the concentration camps, sometimes accompanied by treasure hunters who used his relative's memoir as a guidebook to hidden Nazi loot. Of a piece with Anne-Marie O'Connor's The Lady in Gold (2012), Kaiser's story approaches the conclusion on an unsettled note that, he laments, would be simpler to resolve if he were writing a novel and not nonfiction‚?"though it does end on a cliffhanger worthy of a thriller. An exemplary contribution to the recent literature on the fraught history of the Shoah. Copyright Kirkus 2021 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






Terms of Use   ©Copyright 2021 Follett School Solutions