The Jewish roots in the Baltic Sea region are rife with dualities. In one sense, the region is a beautiful coastal area with large sandy beaches and busy ports. Yet, these same attractions have fraught the region with war and conflict. It is here where the Graudan Family was established. It was also the site in which German Nazis and Latvian collaborators mass murdered thousands of Jews during WWII, including some of the Graudans, (the local population numbered about 7,000 before the war and yet less than 30 Jews remained after the war). Others in the family, through marriage, and the foresight of early emigration survived. Through their individual stories we see their descendents enriching the world with their skills, love, and compassion for life.
With the help of genealogy reports, published works, public records, memoirs, journals, diaries, notes, interviews, and personal stories, Keith W Kaye develops a holistic blueprint of Jewish life and times of the Graudan family from the eighteenth to mid twentieth century. Steeped in rich ancestry and history, the personal stories allow the reader to travel to the Baltic and experience past life there in a firsthand way. A vivid picture of Jewish life in Lithuania and in Latvia evolves as the history, politics, and people of the region are explored. Jews of Lithuania and Latvia: The Graudans is also an important contribution to current scholarship of Baltic region Jewry.
Along the way, Keith shares his own techniques for discovering the historical and familial facts, his unexpected and enlightening encounters, and his exciting exploration into the depths of his family history.