April 4, 2022 – What would you do if your estranged father died, leaving behind piles of Nazi-era documents related to the fate of your family’s café in the world wars? In this episode, our time machine travels back to the inter-war years, to meet a Jewish family rocked by the turmoil of Austria-Hungary and them Germany coming out on the losing side.
Our guide on this journey is Meriel Schindler who brings us The Lost Café Schindler: One Family, Two Wars, and the Search for Truth. After her father Kurt’s death, Meriel was left to confront their broken relationship, and untangle the truth behind the tales he spun — stories of an extraordinary family tree featuring Franz Kafka, Oskar Schindler, the Jewish doctor who treated Hitler’s and his mother, and others. Only one thing was concrete: The café that the Nazis stole when her family was forced to flee.
Special thanks investigative journalist Gerald Posner for submitting a video question on anti-Semitism for The Lost Café Schindler, and also providing a blurb for the book. Gerald has done three previous interviews about his books:
- God’s Bankers: A History of Money and Power at the Vatican
- Pharma: Greed, Lies, and the Poisoning of America
- Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK
We also cite my conversation with Gerald’s wife and writing partner, Trisha, and her book The Pharmacist of Auschwitz: The Untold Story .