A Free, Virtual Author Talk Commemorating Kristallnacht

Featuring Faris Cassell, author of the award-winning The Unanswered Letter

Tuesday, November 9 at 7pm

Broadcast live on FCTV Public Channel 13

Zoom access for members or by request or invitation only: contact Pamela Rothstein at pbrothstein@comcast.net

Presented in partnership by Falmouth Jewish Congregation and the Worcester JCC


Faris Cassell will present a free virtual talk on her award-winning book, The Unanswered Letter: One Holocaust Family's Desperate Plea for Help, in commemoration of the 83rd anniversary of Kristallnacht, Tuesday, November 9 at 7 pm, on Zoom and broadcast live on FCTV Public Channel 13 in Falmouth.

In 1939, as the Nazis closed in, Alfred Berger mailed a desperate letter to an American stranger who happened to share his last name.  He and his wife, Viennese Jews, had found escape routes for their daughters. But now their money, connections, and emotional energy were nearly exhausted.  He begged the American recipient of the letter “By pure chance I got your address.  Please help us to follow our children…..It is our last and only hope…”

After languishing in a California attic for over 60 years, Alfred’s letter ended up in the hands of Faris Cassell, a journalist who couldn’t rest until she discovered the ending of the story.  Was Alfred and Hedwig’s desperate plea answered? Did they—and their daughters—survive? Her dramatic narrative traces her quest to find answers.  Cassell’s research took her across the United States, Austria, Belarus, Czech Republic, and Israel, uncovering an extraordinary story of heart-wrenching loss and unforgettable love that endures to this day.

Faris Cassell lives in Eugene, Oregon.  Her decades of research into Alfred and Hedwig Berger’s story was supported by a Mount Holyoke Alumnae Scholarship and by the generous cooperation of the Berger family.  The Unanswered Letter won the 2020 National Jewish Book Award for Holocaust.

Books are available from Eight Cousins Bookstore in Falmouth and can be ordered in person, by phone, or online at www.eightcousins.com.  They may also be purchased at bookshop.org or anywhere you buy books.