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Amram Scholar Series Presents: Meriel Schindler

The Lost Cafe Schindler

Sunday October 10, 2021 @ 10:30 am - 12:00 pm


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WHC is pleased to welcome Meriel Schindler to the Amram Scholar Series for a discussion of her book that weaves together memoir, family history, and an untold story of the Jews of the Austro-Hungarian empire.

About the Book:

Meriel Schindler’s father, Kurt, was a handsome, persuasive, and charming raconteur. Kurt was full of anecdotes about their family’s illustrious relations, ranging from Franz Kaf­ka to Oskar Schindler to Dr. Bloch, but Schindler was never sure whether any of these tales were true. When Kurt died suddenly in 2017, she was forced to confront both their fractured relationship and the truth behind his tall tales of their family history. Scattered around the isolated cottage where Kurt lived out his final years, Schindler found the physical manifestations of these stories, including piles of Nazi-era documents related to her family’s fate in Inns­bruck and a trea­sure trove of family albums reach­ing back to pre-World War I.

The mem­oir centers around the famous Café Schindler, which the author’s grand­fa­ther opened in 1922 to glitter­ing suc­cess. Schindler’s research leads her to uncov­er the heart-wrenching sto­ry of how her family’s business was appro­priated dur­ing the Nazi era, the postwar legal battle waged by the proprietor who illegally laid claim to it, and the ultimate resurrection of the café in a new owner’s hands.

Through the story of the café and the threads that spool out from it, The Lost Café Schindler depicts how an ordinary family survived extraordinary times and offers readers a profound reflection on memory, truth, trauma, and the importance of cake.


Click here to purchase this book through WHC’s Mitzvah Mall

About the Author:

Meriel Schindler spent the first fifteen years of her life in Lon­don before spending five formative years in Innsbruck, Austria. Schindler, now based in London, is an employment lawyer, partner, and head of a team at Withers LLP, a law firm, and a trustee of Arvon, the writing charity. The Lost Cafè Schindler is her first book.

Presented in partnership with the Jewish Book Council



Sunday, October 10


10:30 am - 12:00 pm




Adult Ed, Amram, Lecture


Marsha Humphries