How the Nazis Stole My Grandmother’s Cookbook

How the Nazis Stole My Grandmother’s Cookbook

Date: Monday, December 04, 2023

Time: 01:00pm - 

Location: Virtual


The Raoul Wallenberg Annual Program, funded by Leon and Toby Cooperman


Karina Urbach, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Historical Research, University of London

Alice Urbach, a renowned chef and cookbook writer in Vienna, was forced to flee to England in 1938 after the Anschluss - the German occupation of Austria. When she returned to the ruins of Vienna in the late 1940s, she discovered that her bestselling cookbook had been Aryranized, published under a non-Jewish name.

Eighty years later, historian Karina Urbach—Alice’s granddaughter—set out to uncover the truth and to reclaim her grandmother’s work.  Alice’s Book: How the Nazis Stole My Grandmother’s Cookbook explores the larger picture of restitution. It has been translated into six languages and was also made into an award-winning documentary for German television.

Watch ZOOM recording here

Karina Urbach HeadshotKarina Urbach, a German historian, is currently a senior research fellow at the Institute of Historical Research at the University of London. She spent six years at Princeton University’s Institute for Advanced Study doing research for her new book, Alice’s Book: How the Nazis Stole My Grandmother’s Cookbook (Quercis Publishing, 2023).

Urbach’s historical novel Cambridge 5 (Limes, 2017), which was written under the pseudonym Hannah Coler, was shortlisted for three literary prizes and won the Crime Cologne Award in 2018. Her book Go-Betweens for Hitler (Oxford University Press, 2015) triggered a debate in the United Kingdom about the royal family’s links to Nazi Germany, and her biography of Queen Victoria (Beck, 2014) was published to great acclaim in Germany. Urbach writes a regular column, “Blast from the Past,” for the German newspaper die Tageszeitung (TAZ) and has contributed to the Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, and the Literary Review, among other publications. She has also been a commentator on BBC, PBS, and German television programs.