Dina Gold grew up hearing her grandmother’s tales of the glamorous life in Berlin she led before the Nazis came to power, and her dreams of recovering a huge building she claimed belonged to the family, though she had no papers to prove ownership. Gold will speak about her book, “Stolen Legacy,” which details how the Nazis deprived her once prominent family of their landmark building, and her fight to reclaim it, as part of the Arizona Center for Judaic Studies’ free Shaol & Louis Pozez Memorial Lecture Series, on Monday, March 6 at 7 p.m. at the Tucson Jewish Community Center.
When the Third Reich was defeated in 1945 the building lay in the Soviet sector — just past Checkpoint Charlie — and beyond legal reach. When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, Gold decided to battle for restitution.
Built by her great-grandfather in 1910, the property was the business headquarters of the H. Wolff fur company, one of the largest and most successful in Germany during the early part of the last century. In 1937 the Victoria Insurance Company foreclosed on the mortgage and transferred ownership of Krausenstrasse 17/18 to the Reichsbahn, Hitler’s railways, which later transported millions of Jews across Europe to the death camps. The Victoria, headed then by a German businessman and lawyer with connections to the very top of the Nazi Party, is still today one of Germany’s leading insurance companies. But during the war it was part of a consortium insuring workshops at Auschwitz.
Gold was born and brought up in Britain. She is now an American citizen living in Washington, D.C., where she is on the board of the Jewish Community Center and co-chair of the Washington Jewish Film Festival. A senior editor at Moment magazine, she started her career in London as a financial journalist after postgraduate studies at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. Later, at the BBC, she worked as an investigative reporter and television producer.
The Guardian praised “Stolen Legacy” as “an extraordinary story” and E. Randol Schoenberg, the attorney portrayed by Ryan Reynolds in the film “Woman in Gold,” said it is “a meticulous and finely written account…with all the twists and turns one would expect from a fictional detective story — but it is all true.”
A book signing will follow the lecture.
For more information, visit judaic.arizona.edu/StolenLegacy.