Center for German and European Studies

How the Nazis Stole My Grandmother's Cookbook: Alice's Book with Karina Urbach

Tuesday, April 25, 2023
2:20 - 3:40 pm Eastern Time (US)
Hybrid In-Person Event and Zoom Webinar
Schwartz 110, Brandeis University 

About the Event

Book cover of Karina's bookAlice Urbach had her own cooking school in Vienna, but in 1938 she was forced to flee to England, like so many others. Her younger son was imprisoned in Dachau, and her older son, having emigrated to the United States, became an intelligence officer in the struggle against the Nazis. Returning to the ruins of Vienna in the late 1940s, she discovers that her bestselling cookbook has been published under someone else's name. Eighty years later, the historian Karina Urbach - Alice's granddaughter - sets out to uncover the truth behind the stolen cookbook, and tells the story of a family torn apart by the Nazi regime, of a woman who, with her unwavering passion for cooking, survived the horror and losses of the Holocaust to begin a new life in America.

About the Speaker

Head shot of Karina Urbach smilingDr Karina Urbach is a German/British historian and prize-winning novelist. She took her PhD at the University of Cambridge and did her second doctorate (Habilitation) in 2009. Karina has taught at German and British Universities and is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the IHR, University of London. She researched her latest project at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton: Alice’s Book. How the Nazis stole my grandmother’s cookbook was translated into six languages and became an award-winning documentary. Karina writes the regular column Blast from the Past for the German Tageszeitung (TAZ). She has contributed to the Wall Street JournalThe GuardianThe Literary ReviewDie ZeitDie Frankfurter Allgemeine (FAZ) and has been a talking head in BBC, PBS and German television programmes. She lives with her family in Cambridge, England.