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     On July 20, 1942 Benno Neuburger, a Jewish land investor from Munich stood in front of a panel of five judges in Berlin’s People’s Court. The main judge, Karl Engert, sitting in front of bust of Adolf Hitler glowered at him. “Were all of these slanderous remarks about the Führer written by you and put in the mail with the intention that others should see them?”

     “Yes,” admitted the defendant. “To let the world know of the torment and injustices we are facing as Jews in this country.”

     In a two hour “trial” Benno was found guilty of treason and sentenced to death. The execution took place two months later in the converted woodshop of Berlin’s infamous Plötzensee prison.

     The records of Benno’s arrest, interrogation, trial, and execution sat unnoticed in the archives of the Nazi People’s Court until 1989 when, with the unification of east and west Berlin, they became accessible to a wider body of researchers. Then the myth of German Jewish passivity to the Holocaust was challenged by the discovery of numerous acts of resistance by German Jews. The actions of Benno Neuburger have drawn particular attention among German historians.

     Benno is my grandfather. I’ve spent the past six years researching and traveling to piece together the story of Benno, his wife Anna Einstein, and relatives from four German towns who either emigrated or, unable to do so, were murdered in camps and forts in occupied Europe.

     This is the story more broadly of their lives and Benno’s courageous and desperate acts of resistance.

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Postcards to Hitler

Sales Date: April 9, 2024

Published by Monthly Review Press

What people say?

This profoundly researched book tells the story of the postcards Benno Neuburger wrote and posted in a desperate act of resistance against totalitarian oppression. While the story is told in a genre of historical fiction, the author displays a deep knowledge of Munich’s local history during the Nazi era – both remarkable and unusual for one looking in on Germany from outside. The reader experiences the ever more stifling antisemitic measures through the focalization of those directly affected. Thus, Bruce Neuburger maintains a high level of empathy – which is at times unsettling and painful when the author describes the details of an incidental encounter with stranger on a bridge over the Isar river or the cruel, sadist commands of an interrogator. In Postcards to Hitler, Benno Neuburger is the protagonist. However, the book is broader in scope, telling the fates of Benno’s relatives and embedding their stories within the overall historical lines. A book that has the power to draw you in and makes you think – about actions we do or do not take in our own times.
Eva Tyrell
Public Historian, Kulturreferat der Landeshauptstadt München
A significant contribution to the library of Holocaust literature. Drawing upon the research, writing, and documentation of hundreds of historians and archivists and the testimonies of survivors and family members lost to the Holocaust, Postcard to Hitler imaginatively dramatizes those terrible times.
Dr. Michael Shinagel
author, Holocaust Survivor to Harvard Dean: Memoirs of a Refugee’s Progress
With Postcards to Hitler, Bruce Neuburger gifts us an homage to his Jewish family in southern Germany based on a trove of original documents. Deeply embedded in the historical context, the colorful semi-fictitious account spans from 1871 and the emancipation of the Jews in Germany to the near end of the Third Reich. However, this is not the regular tragic narrative of a Jewish family destroyed by Nazis persecution, albeit it is that too—it is also the story of how his grandfather courageously resists Hitler.
Wolf Gruner
author of Resisters: How Ordinary Jews fought Persecution in Hitler’s Germany
Bruce Neuburger has told the very personal story of his grandfather Benno, who was executed for resisting Hitler’s persecution. Neuburger’s powerful writing recreates the atmosphere of the times as his family fights for its existence. This is a book that calls us to stand up against injustice and that gives us hope in disturbing times.
Maximilian Strnad
historian, member of the City of Munich Institute for Urban History and Remembrance Culture, author of The Fortune of Survival – Intermarried German Jews in the late stage of the Shoah, and other historical works on Munich’s Jews.

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