A generous reception… Derek reflects on the publication of his new book

The entrance to Dachau concentration camp memorial site
The descendants of both perpetrators and survivors are fighting against what places like Dachau Concentration Camp represented.

(A Nazi in the Family, published March 2015). So far, it’s been almost completely positive. Interviews for Scottish Television, BBC Radio Scotland and the Herald (Scotland likes this book, it would seem) were all very fair-minded.

The Guardian accepted a feature from me about my grandmother without changing a word and splashed Sarah’s restored photos over more than half of a broadsheet page. Reader comments poured into the website – on the day of publication, it was the sixth-most read story on the Guardian website and 477 readers left comments online.

And maybe best of all, at the instigation of Rabbi Benjamin Blech in New York, a fellow rabbi (Nechemia Coopersmith) in Israel commissioned a feature from me to appear on the Jewish website www.aish.com .

The reader reaction to this feature was, to say the least, heartening. These were the responses from Jews from all over the world – from Israel, Canada, the USA, Brazil… and goodness knows where else.

Nearly all were supportive of the decision to publish the book. The comment that stands out comes from a man called Baruch, who wrote:

It’s not what you were born with (or to whom you were born) that matters, but what you do with it.

Derek Niemann has embraced it to shine a point of light that helps us see right from wrong and make the world a better place.

Yiyasher Kochacha – May your strength continue to enlighten.