Portret van een familie
There are talkers and silent types. But there are also fathers who are neither one nor the other. Paul Goldschmidt, a well-known speech therapist, is an expert at making contact with children who are unable speak. With them, he never has to discuss the war years, which are ever-present in the Amsterdam house where this willful, creative, and vain man lives with his family. A hero to his patients, he is unreachable and absent to his four children who ’have never experienced anything and should therefore be happy’.
In Verplicht gelukkig Saskia Goldschmidt sets out to uncover the untold stories of her silent father and his extended Jewish family. And she also seeks answers to where the overpowering sense of guilt and shame she feels comes from.
By going through archives and old letters, the daughter gets to know her ancestors. The Prussian horse trader, the vinegar doctor who emigrated to Amsterdam, and the ‘Coffee King’ who refused to be robbed of the love of his life. Step-by-step, she realizes how her father’s wartime experiences have shaped her as well. The discoveries she makes, which she can no longer share with him, are the basis of an unsettling and remarkable family story.