My Grandfather Stood by the Window, Drinking Tea
A man and his time: Naomi Schenck’s grand-father lived and breathed for science. Did his sense of morality take a back seat? With immense compassion and narrative verve, his granddaughter reconstructs a 20th century life – a life at once eccentric and exemplary.
Günther Schenck was born in 1913. When he died, he left his granddaughter Naomi an unusual legacy: the instruction to write his biography. Naomi was extremely fond of the brilliant chemist and his elegant wife Christel, but she always had the feeling that there was something just a little amiss about his life. In the course of her research, she disco-vers that her supposedly apolitical grandfather had joined the ranks of the SA in 1933. Why were none of the other members of the family aware of this? And how do people go about making such life-defining decision?
Naomi Schenck poses the questions of a generation for which the answers in the history books remain inadequate. Drawing on her memories and hundreds of stories, she fashions the vivid portrait of a bourgeois Germany family - and offers scope for readers to discover a slice of their own history under the dust of years long gone.