This image is the cover for the book Motherland


A groundbreaking second-generation memoir of the Holocaust and its legacy by Otto Frank’s goddaughter—“The extraordinary tale is heroic” (The New York Times).

Rita Goldberg recounts the extraordinary story of her mother, 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—first among the Resistance, and then at Bergen-Belsen after its liberation. In the words of The Guardian, the story is “worthy of a film script.”

As astonishing as Hilde’s story is, Rita herself emerges as the central character in this utterly unique memoir. Proud of her mother and yet struggling to forge an identity in the shadow of such heroic accomplishments—not to mention her family’s close relationship to the iconic Frank family—Goldberg offers an unflinching look at the struggles faced by 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.

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

Rita Goldberg

Born in Basel in 1949, Rita Goldberg was brought up in the United States with time spent in Germany, where her father was an army psychiatrist. She teaches comparative literature at Harvard and is married to Oliver Hart, a British-born professor of economics at Harvard. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The New Press