Fronteras: Granddaughter Of A Nazi & Creating A 'Promise Zone' On San Antonio's Eastside

Jun 8, 2018

On this episode of "Fronteras":

  • A mixed-race German woman makes a shocking discovery: she is the granddaughter of a Nazi (0:14).
  • A distressed San Antonio neighborhood is experiencing a rebirth through housing and art (14:40).


Credit The Experiment Publishing

‘My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me’: Granddaughter Of Nazi Commandant From ‘Schindler’s List’ Speaks

Jennifer Teege was born in 1970 to a white German woman and a black Nigerian man. Her mother left her in the care of an orphanage as an infant, and was taken in by a German foster family at age 3.

Until her formal adoption by the same family at age 7, she still had sporadic contact with her birth mother and grandmother.

In her late 30s, Teege discovered she was the granddaughter of a Nazi — specifically, the sadistic Amon Goeth, whose horrific crimes against Jews were detailed in the 1993 Stephen Spielberg film, “Schindler’s List.”

FRONTERAS EXTRADiscovering Family's Nazi Past

Goeth was the commandant of the Kraków-Płaszów concentration camp in Poland. He and Teege’s grandmother lived together in a villa near the camp.

Teege wrote about coming to terms with her family history in the book ‘My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me: A Black Woman Discovers Her Family’s Nazi Past.”

Teege was in San Antonio in March for a fundraiser for the city’s Holocaust Memorial Museum.  

Future site of Phillis Wheatley Park
Credit Norma Martinez / Texas Public Radio

‘This Is What The Community Should Have Been’: San Antonio's Eastside Improves Through Housing, Art

Eastside San Antonio is one of the city's oldest and most distressed neighborhoods.

Unemployment rates on the Eastside hover around 10 percent, far above the citywide average of around 3 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In the 2016 census, the Eastside, which is approximately 22 square miles, has a poverty rate of 33 percent, with 30 percent of residents over the age of 25 without a high school diploma.

But economic development is revitalizing Eastside neighborhoods.

In 2014, President Barack Obama declared the area a Promise Zone, an initiative aimed at revitalizing high-poverty neighborhoods with job creation, economic activity, and crime reduction.

A 4-mile area inside that Promise Zone is being revitalized through a $29.7 million Choice Neighborhood Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development. The San Antonio Housing Authority is managing the grant.

Norma Martinez can be reached via email at norma@tpr.org and on Twitter @NormDog1.