The 31st annual Casper College Humanities Festival this week features author Jennifer Teege as its keynote speaker. Teege is a German-Nigerian woman who was adopted as a small child, and like many adopted children, she had questions about her biological family’s past.
Her book “My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me: A Black Woman Discovers Her Family’s Nazi Past” tells the story of how she accidentally made this discovery seven years ago. "I was in a library – in the central library of my hometown," she remembers. "And by coincidence I took a book from the shelf that told the story of my biological family. And I found out that my biological grandfather was Amon Goeth, whom you might know because he was depicted in the movie Schindler’s list."
Teege says the startling discovery added a new layer to her idea of self.
"I would say it changed my life into a before and after. I had an identity before and then there was something so fundamental that was added, but it was eventually something that set me free," she says. "It was difficult to cope with, but I’m happy that I did find the book and actually did find out the family secret."
This year’s Humanities Festival centers on the theme of redemption and will be hosting events through Friday, February 26. Teege’s keynote talk will be held Thursday at Casper College with a book signing to follow. Select events will be available via live webstream.