Sandra Rottenberg

Sandra Rottenberg, a producer, and her cousin Hella Rottenberg, a writer and a journalist, started investigating their grandfather’s life when a Jewish-Dutch newspaper advertised a €50 million compensation fund for Jews robbed of their property in the former GDR. Isay Rottenberg’s name was on a list of former property owners potentially qualifying for compensation. Hella and Sandra were curious what he did in Germany and why he had stayed after Hitler came to power. Eleven thick dossiers stuffed with letters, accounts, photos and newspaper clippings together with documents from archives in Berlin, Dresden, Leipzig, Chemnitz and The Hague provided the answers.

De sigarenfabriek van Isay Rottenberg

De sigarenfabriek van Isay Rottenberg

(Atlas Contact, 2017, 272 pagina's)

In mid-1932, Isay Rottenberg, a Jewish paper merchant, bought a cigar factory in Germany: Deutsche Zigarren-Werke. When his competitors, supported by Nazi authorities, tried to shut it down, the headstrong entrepreneur refused to give up the fight. Told from the perspective of his two granddaughters who carefully reconstructed their grandfather’s story and set against the backdrop of the Nazi takeover of a small German town, the narrative takes the form of the unravelling of a hidden family history and a quest.

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