A Jewish Family Saga


Roberta Kagan’s series delves into the harrowing experiences of Jewish families during the rise of Nazism and World War II. Book 1, “Not in America,” is based on the true story of the 1928 abduction of a Christian girl in New York, leading to accusations against the Jewish Schatzman family. As anti-Semitic tensions rise, part of the family flees to Berlin, only to find Germany in the 1930s a perilous refuge.

Book 2 follows Goldie Schatzman in Berlin’s Weimar era, where she indulges in a life of debauchery, endangering her and her daughter’s future. Meanwhile, her son Sam, involved with the Jewish mob in Manhattan, struggles with a love triangle and heads to Germany amidst rising political turmoil.

In Book 3, the Schatzmans face escalating challenges: Sam’s dilemma with the changing mob landscape in New York, Alma’s romance with a non-Jewish Italian doctor in Mussolini’s Italy, and the family’s struggle against the intensifying Nazi terror in Berlin.

Book 4 shifts focus to Sam in Manhattan, dealing with past KKK adversaries, and the Birnbaums in Berlin, contemplating a desperate escape from Nazi persecution. The threat intensifies as their Jewish identity becomes increasingly dangerous, and in Rome, Alma and her husband confront the Nazi roundup of Jews.

The series portrays a vivid and distressing narrative of Jewish resilience and despair during one of history’s darkest periods, weaving personal struggles with historical events.