London’s International Festival of Arts and Ideas

Past Events

Rita Goldberg Growing up with the Holocaust
Rita Goldberg , Chair: Hester Abrams
Sunday, 23 February 2014

Experience the event as it happened:

Gallery Audio

Hilde Jacobsthal was brought up in Amsterdam, spent World War Two on the run and met her future husband in liberated Bergen-Belsen where she worked as a nurse. A close family friend was Otto Frank, father of Anne; Hilde was one of the first to tell him his family had perished.

Motherland: Growing up with the Holocaust is Rita Goldberg’s coming to terms with her mother’s dramatic early life, allowing her to acknowledge her ghosts. 

Rita Goldberg was born in Basel in 1949 and raised mostly in the US, with two early years in Germany.  She taught literature at Essex and Cambridge for nearly ten years.   She teaches comparative literature part-time at Harvard, where her British-born husband, Oliver Hart, is a professor of economics. They have two sons, both born in Cambridge, England, and two grandsons.  Rita, who is German-speaking, always knew her mother’s story of survival.  She and her younger sisters were haunted, even daunted, by it.  Writing this family memoir allowed her to confront that power and to acknowledge her ghosts.

Hester Abrams is Director of Jewish Book Week.

In association with Second Generation Network

To buy books featured in this event please click hereTen per cent of all sale proceeds will go to Jewish Book Week, supporting the festival for future years.


The JBW Newsfeed

We are delighted to announce that the 10 events taking place at JW3 as part of Jewish Book Week 2016 are now on sale. Click here to see all of the...
Monday, 16 November 2015
Jewish Book Week was saddened to learn of the recent deaths of two leading thinkers who have made an inestimable contribution to international...
Tuesday, 27 October 2015
JBW are delighted to announce that the weekday afternoon events at the 2016 Festival will be held at JW3 for the first time. JW3 is the first...
Thursday, 15 October 2015


Highlights from the 2015 festival are now online.