DATE: December 12, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(713) 667-9201 ext. 320
A story of the impossible choices of vulnerable individuals living under the Third Reich-An Ordinary Man Caught In Extraordinary times: A Lecture by translator Penny Milbouer.
Houstonian Penny Milbouer presents a lecture, “Between Persecution and Participation,” on January 24 at 7 PM at Congregation Brith Shalom. The program is sponsored by the Brith Shalom Adult Education Committee and is free and open to the public.
Willy Wiemokli had no idea he was Jewish. On the day after he was born, his Jewish father received baptism into the Lutheran religion. Willy grew up without any Jewish knowledge or education.
That all changed after Hitler took power. Under the Nuremberg Laws, Willy was now classified as a “half Jew.” He was even arrested during Kristallnacht and interned at Buchenwald.
During the war, Willy was protected by his employer, Topf & Son, the company that produced crematoria for the Nazi concentration camps. Under the post-war Communist regime, he was persecuted once again for being Jewish.
Penny Milbouer translated Willy’s story from German to English. Willy’s story raises questions about Jewish identity and the boundaries between victim, bystander and accomplice during the Holocaust.
"A compelling read, and Milbouer’s translation does an excellent job of creating an English-language text that will capture the attention of a wide group of readers."—Jonathan Hess, author of Middlebrow Literature and the Making of German-Jewish Identity.
Penny Milbouer has translated several publications, including Michael Wieck’s A Childhood under Hitler and Stalin: Memoirs of a "Certified Jew."
Following the lecture, Milbouer will be available to sign copies of her book.