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The Nazi's Granddaughter

How I Discovered My Grandfather was a War Criminal

Silvia Foti


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A deathbed promise leads a daughter on an incredible journey to write about her grandfather who was a famous war hero. But this journey had a terrible destination: the discovery that he was a Nazi war criminal.

Silvia Foti’s mother was dying. Wanting to preserve family history, Silvia’s mother asks her to write a book about Foti’s grandfather, Jonas Noreika, a famous WWII hero. Foti’s grandmother tries to intervene - begging her granddaughter not to write about her husband. “Just let history lie,” she whispered.

Foti had no idea that in keeping her promise to her mother, her discoveries would bring her to a personal crisis, unearth Holocaust denial, and expose an official cover-up by the Lithuanian government that resulted in an internationally-followed lawsuit.

Jonas Noreika was a Lithuanian known as General Storm. He led an uprising that won the country of Lithuania back from the communists, only to have it fall under Nazi control. He was an official during the Holocaust and chief of the second largest region in the country during the Nazi occupation, yet he became a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp. Foti set out to write a heroic biography about her famous grandfather.  But as she dug ever deeper, she “encountered so much evidence proving my flesh and blood ‘hero’ was a Jew-killer, even I could no longer believe the lie.”

The Nazi's Granddaughter is Foti’s first-hand account of her journey, which began as an act of family pride and ended with uncovering the secret her family, and an entire nation, had kept hidden for 79 years. It addresses:
  • How should our family’s past, shameful or noble, shape our identity?
  • How could one man be revered as a hero, having a grammar school named after him, and yet be a villain responsible for the deaths of thousands?
  • Why are some European countries still in denial about their role in the Holocaust?
  • How was this kept secret until now?

Regnery History, 9781684511082, 400pp.

Publication Date: March 9, 2021

About the Author

Silvia Foti is a journalist, teacher, wife, and mother living in Chicago, IL. She holds Masters degrees in Journalism, Education, and Creative Non-fiction, and has written two books. She has been published in, Chicago Tribune, Southtown Economist, and has won awards for her investigative journalism.