“Wenn jemand anruft, sagt, ich bin tot”

BUCHTIPP. EMANUEL ROSEN. Erscheinungsdatum: 22.3.2021.

Emanuel Rosens Großvater, 1933 nach Palästina emigriert, beging 1956, kurz nach seinem Besuch in Deutschland, in Tel Aviv Selbstmord. Um zu verstehen, warum er das getan hat, beschließt Emanuel Rosen nach Deutschland zu fahren. Aus den Briefen der Großeltern rekonstruiert er die Reise. Er fährt die gleichen Züge, schläft in den gleichen Hotels und sitzt in den gleichen Cafés wie sie. Spuren seiner Familie findet er auch in der Gedenkstätte Ahlem in Hannover. In Hamm, wo der Großvater eine angesehene Kanzlei besaß, erhält Emanuel Rosen einen dicken Aktenordner, der ihm die Augen für einen bisher unbekannten Teil der Geschichte öffnet und aus dessen Inhalt sein Buch entsteht.

Das Buch ist die Geschichte eines zerrissenen Mannes, der nach seiner Identität sucht, seiner Ehefrau, die sich weigert aufzugeben, und vor allem – des Kampfes einer Tochter, um die Ehre ihres Vaters wiederherzustellen.



“With sensitivity, love, and humor, Emanuel Rosen tells the story of his Yekke grandparents, their immigration and difficulties in the homeland of the Jewish people, and their journey in search of their roots and identity in Germany. An important and fascinating book that awakened in me deep feelings and a longing for a generation that is no more.”
Gabriela Shalev, former Israel’s Ambassador to the U.N.; Professor (Emeritus) the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

“This is a gripping and engaging exploration of a family whose lives were indelibly changed by Nazi restrictions, by immigrant life in Israel, and by a grandson’s search for missing parts of the stories.”
Martha Minow:  Harvard Law School

“I thought I’d take a quick look at this book, but then I kept reading all of it in a day and a half.”
W. Michael Blumenthal: Former Secretary of the Treasury and director of the Jewish Museum Berlin (1997-2014)

“From generation to generation, it becomes more difficult to write about the persecution of Jews before and during WWII as one’s personal past. Too much has been lost, and precisely because of that one wants to write about what can still be found. I respect what Emanuel Rosen did in this book, patiently and carefully exploring the past and guiding us through his findings about the story of his family.”
Bernhard Schlink: Author of “The Reader”

From the Publisher

The Holocaust and its aftermath were not often discussed in families of second-generation survivors. In Tel Aviv of the 1960s, Emanuel Rosen grew up hearing the staccato of his mother’s typewriter, but had no idea about the battle she was fighting. This changed years later, when he found a box with letters that his grandparents had sent from a tragic 1956-trip to Germany and he decided to retrace their journey.

This book braids the stories of three generations—grandparents, daughter, and grandson. The grandparents, the lawyer Dr. Hugo Mendel and his wife Lucie, who were respected German citizens until the Nazis took away their livelihood and their dignity. Their daughter, Mirjam, who had fought for years to prove that those who forced her father out of his profession were responsible for his death. And their grandson, Emanuel, who discovered a shocking truth.

This true story demonstrates the devastating consequences of Nazi persecution, even for survivors who fled Europe before WWII and did not experience the horrors of the Holocaust. It is also a stark reminder of the heavy psychological toll of uprooting, still experienced by refugees and exiles today. Written in a personal style brimming with love and wit, If Anyone Calls, Tell Them I Died is a story of loss, strength, and triumph.