A strange encounter with an American woman who possesses a picture of her house from the 1930’s sends a young Romanian, Adela, on a quest to uncover her family’s role in Europe’s not-so-distant history.
Three generations on, both she and her mysterious American visitor are haunted by the past – one as a descendent of perpetrators, the other of victims.
Adela must decide if she’s willing to pay the price to break the code of silence and confront her country’s past and her own family’s history.
A first-generation American, Sonya came to the US as an infant, after spending three years in a refugee camp in Europe after World War II. Now a publishing executive, Sonya is 39, single and lives in New York.
A secondary school teacher in Botosani, a small town in the northeast of Romania, Adela is 27 and lives with her parents in an old house on Bukovina Street, where she was born. Her extended family lives in the house next door.
At 25 and pregnant when World War II hits Romania, Hannah has a miscarriage on the forced march to the camps in 1940. Separated then from her husband, in the chaos of liberation she runs into him, by chance, as the war draws to a close.
The unrelenting antisemitism renders them unable to go back home, and with few countries accepting survivor immigrants, they are held in a refugee camp in Europe for another 3 years, where they have a child, Sonya, in 1946.
A prosperous fabric merchant in the small town of Botosani, at 29 Andrei marries Hannah, on the eve of the War. An only child with an aging mother, Andrei has heard rumors about the extermination of Jews in Germany, but doesn’t believe that level of persecution will ever reach his town– where his family has lived for generations.
In 1940, Andrei and his wife are deported to separate concentration camps, and have no way of knowing if each other has survived until the end of the war.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Silvia Grossmann is a writer, photographer and filmmaker born in Brazil, and based in Los Angeles. A Fulbright scholar, she recently obtained her MFA in Film and Television Production at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Prior to filmmaking, she worked as an Art Director in advertising, and is an internationally exhibited photographer. A recipient of many design and photography awards, in the past five years she has written, directed and produced content for the web, television and film. Inheritance is based on the real-life story of her grandparents.
Written by S. Grossmann
© 2014 S. Grossmann