About Featured Book:
Stolen Legacy is the story of how the Nazis deprived a once prominent Berlin Jewish family of a huge building—and the battle to reclaim it. Built by the author’s great grandfather in 1910, the property was the business headquarters of the H. Wolff fur company, one of the largest and most successful in Germany during the early part of the last century. The wealth generated in the “Wolff building” as it came to be known, enabled the family to live on a large estate in Wannsee, an elite suburb of Berlin.
The Nazis had other plans for the building at Krausenstrasse 17/18. In 1937 the Victoria Insurance Company foreclosed on the mortgage and transferred ownership to the Reichsbahn, Hitler’s railways, the state-owned organization that later transported millions of Jews across Europe to the death camps. The Victoria, headed then by a German businessman and lawyer with connections to the very top of the Nazi Party, is still today one of Germany’s leading insurance companies. But during the war it was part of a consortium insuring the buildings at the Auschwitz death camp.
When the Third Reich was defeated in 1945 the building lay in the Soviet sector. In 1961, when the Wall was constructed dividing Berlin, the building fell two blocks east of Checkpoint Charlie, just inside the Communist state, and beyond legal reach.
Dina Gold grew up hearing her grandmother’s tales of the glamorous life she once led, but had no paperwork at all to prove ownership of the building. When the Wall fell in 1989, Dina remembered her stories and decided to seek the truth and battle for restitution...
-Courtesy of the ABA