06 September 2008

New York: Hidden legacy of two families, Sept. 14

She found the Polish family that hid her mother from the Nazis, and thought she’d created a made-for-TV-reunion.

In a special presentation for the New York Jewish Genealogical Society, Erin Einhorn will share "The Pages In Between: Unearthing the Hidden Legacy of Two Families, One Home," at 2pm Sunday, September 14, in room 710 of the Conference Center at the UJA-Federation Building, 130 E. 59th Street (Lexington/Park).

When reporter Erin Einhorn found the family in Poland that hid her mother from the Nazis during World War II, she thought she’d created a made-for-TV-reunion for two families thrown together by history. A man who knew her mother as a child threw his arms around her and – tears streaming down his face – told her the little girl had been a sister to him. But when Erin is asked to fulfill a decades-old promise involving the house that her family still owned, she must search through centuries of dusty records, maneuver an outdated, convoluted legal system, and prove the death of a great-grandfather born in 1868 to right the wrongs of the past.

In this special presentation to the Jewish Genealogical Society, she tells what she discovered in ghetto records, property and social service agency archives, and in troves of birth, marriage and death records that had been harboring family secrets for decades. In a year spent living in the country where her mother was born, she found the only known photo of her grandmother and shocking news about how she may have died. She learned that her mother’s only memory of Poland was provably false. And she discovered, as with most family stories, that memory is not always the same as truth.

For more information, click here.

Erin Einhorn is the author of "The Pages In Between" (Simon & Schuster, September 2008) and a reporter for the New York Daily News, covering the New York City public school system and education-related issues. She has written for the Philadelphia Daily News, The Philadelphia Inquirer and Fortune and is a contributor to public radio’s This American Life.

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