Yom HaShoah and the Silk Factory

Today marks Yom HaShoah, when we remember the Holocaust and its victims.

Today is also the day my memoir becomes available for pre-order. It’s an odd feeling, and even calling it a Holocaust memoir is a very strange feeling, because The Silk Factory isn’t so much as Holocaust memoir as it is a memoir of Holocaust discovery.

The full title of the book is The Silk Factory: Finding Threads of My Family’s True Holocaust Story.

The gist is this: I have known, almost from as far back as I can remember, that members of my family were victims of the Holocaust, and that my father’s family was dispossessed of their business, which was a silk factory in the tiny Bavarian hamlet of Ansbach.

An email from a nephew of whose existence I wasn’t even aware set me off on a series of discoveries, first in the basement of my Yorktown home, and then in Germany.

The first of these discoveries was that the Silk Factory in question, the Kupfer Nehseiden Fabrik, named after its founder (my grandfather) Eduard Kupfer, was still in operation.

In fact, according to its website, it was a 130-year-old company that was still family-owned!

And whose family is that, I wondered?

It was the realization that the Silk Factory was still in existence – a fact never once discussed with me while my father or mother were alive – that led me to travel to Germany, to dig deeper, to discover more surprises about my family’s past, and to realize the extent to which the past is still a part of our present.

I also discovered something marvelous, an affirmation of the beauty of the human soul. Yes, for all the horrors of the Shoah, it is also fit and proper to celebrate the acts of heroism and kindness that occurred, and which I discovered along the way.

If you’d like to learn more, you can pre-order The Silk Factory: Finding Threads of My Family’s True Holocaust Story here.


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