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Ursula Duba

About the Author

Ursula Duba is a poet, author, teacher and lecturer based in Stony Creek, Ct. The main focus of her writing is the Holocaust, the Third Reich and the complex legacy of those historical events. Among her published works are Tales From A Child Of The Enemy, Penguin 1997, and the essay Germany-The Legacy Of Bystanders, Cowards, Desktop Murderers And Executioners, Yale University 1999. Works in progress include the book Inherited Pain & Defective Genes – Descendants of the Shoah and the Third Reich, based on three years of research and over 50 in-depth interviews with sons and daughters of Holocaust survivors and German gentiles in the U.S., Germany and Israel; the novel This Child Doesn’t Look Very Aryan, the story of an average family living in Hitler Germany; and a collection of essays elaborating and analyzing Duba’s experiences while participating in German/Jewish dialogues, accompanying German-Jewish emigres back to their home towns as guests of honor, the isolation and lack of support of German gentiles who want to research their family’s history during the Nazi regime, and the scarce creative output by German gentiles to address the legacy of the Hitler regime on a personal and societal level. Duba’s experiences during her upbringing and adult life have given her a unique insight and perspective into both the Holocaust and the Nazi regime. She was born shortly before the outbreak of WWII in Cologne, Germany, to a non-Jewish family. She grew up during the impenetrable silence of the postwar years in Germany and trained to be a translator and interpreter at the time. For the first time in her life, at the age of nineteen, she was confronted with the knowledge of the Holocaust during a trip abroad. That pivotal experience led her to spend a year on a kibbutz in Israel in the early sixties where she had her first encounters with Holocaust survivors. She has since made more than a dozen trips to Israel. In 1965, she and her former husband, whose parents had both been refugees from Nazi Germany, immigrated to the U.S. For the first four years, they lived in an Eastern European neighborhood in Brooklyn among refugees and Holocaust survivors. The stories she gleaned over time from her Brooklyn neighbors became a major impetus for her book Tales From A Child Of The Enemy. Duba’s perspective about Germany and its history is that of a person who knows the many layered historical and psychological underpinnings from the inside and the outside. At the same time, she has gained rare insight – for a gentile – into the legacy of the Holocaust through her decades long friendships and associations with Holocaust survivors. A documentary film about Duba’s life and work and the issues they raise, is being developed by veteran film maker, Gail Freedman, and her company Parrot Productions. Over the past six years Duba has read and lectured at many middle- and high schools, colleges and universities, and cultural and religious institutions throughout the U.S., Israel and Germany (see lectures). She is a captivating reader and an effective and forceful public speaker. Moreover, she actively facilitates provocative dialogue with her audience and does not shirk the most difficult questions.

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