Faris Cassell will present a free virtual talk on her award-winning book, “The Unanswered Letter: One Holocaust Family’s Desperate Plea for Help,” via Zoom on Tuesday, November 9, in commemoration of the 83rd anniversary of Kristallnacht. The program is being presented in partnership by Falmouth Jewish Congregation and the Worcester Jewish Community Center and will be broadcast live on FCTV Public Channel 13 in Falmouth.
In 1939, as the Nazis closed in, Alfred Berger mailed a desperate letter to an American stranger who happened to share his last name. He and his wife, Viennese Jews, had found escape routes for their daughters. But now their money, connections, and emotional energy were nearly exhausted. He begged the American recipient of the letter “By pure chance I got your address. Please help us to follow our children…..It is our last and only hope…”
After languishing in a California attic for over 60 years, Alfred’s letter ended up in the hands of Ms. Cassell, a journalist who couldn’t rest until she discovered the ending of the story. Was Alfred and Hedwig’s desperate plea answered? Did they—and their daughters—survive? Her dramatic narrative traces her quest to find answers. Ms. Cassell’s research took her across the United States, Austria, Belarus, Czech Republic, and Israel, uncovering an extraordinary story of heart-wrenching loss and unforgettable love that endures to this day.