Growing Up with the Holocaust

A groundbreaking second-generation memoir of the Holocaust from the goddaughter of Otto Frank

“A double memoir that braids her parents’ story with her own, and succeeds in articulating a difficult truth.” —The Economist

“I am the child of a woman who survived the Holocaust not by the skin of her teeth but heroically,” writes Rita Goldberg. In a deeply moving second-generation Holocaust memoir, Goldberg introduces the extraordinary story of Hilde Jacobsthal, a close friend of Anne Frank’s family who was fifteen when the Nazis invaded Holland. After the arrest of her parents in 1943, Hilde fled to Belgium, living out the war years in an extraordinary set of circumstances—among the Resistance and at Bergen-Belsen after its liberation—that The Guardian judged “worthy of a film script.”

As astonishing as Hilde’s story is, Rita herself emerges as the central, fascinating character in this utterly unique account. Proud of her mother and yet struggling to forge an identity in the shadow of such heroic accomplishments (in a family setting that included close relationships with the iconic Frank family), Goldberg offers a profound and unflinching look at the often wrenching family and interpersonal struggles of the children and grandchildren whose own lives are haunted by historic tragedy.

Motherland is the culmination of a lifetime of reflection and a decade of research. It is an epic story of survival, adventure, and new life.

News and Reviews

The New York Times

The New York Times reviews Motherland: "At the heart of this engrossing memoir is her mother...The extraordinary tale is heroic. It strikes the reader as thoroughly romantic, even cinematic."


Kirkus Reviews says: "Goldberg writes eloquently of the 'volcanic pressures' that shaped her family’s story and continue to haunt her own."

Goodreads Reviews