28 2023

Beckerman Cultural Arts Author Program: Robert Rotenberg


Robert Rotenberg
"The Cigar Factory of Isay Rottenberg"

Tuesday, March 28, 2023 | 7 PM

Via Zoom


Isay Rot­ten­berg was born in Russ­ian Poland in 1889 and grew up in Lodz, mov­ing to Ams­ter­dam when he mar­ried. In 1932 he moved to Ger­many to take over a bank­rupt cig­ar fac­to­ry. The ener­getic and ambi­tious Rot­ten­berg was cer­tain he could bring it back to life, and with new­ly hired staff of 670 work­ers, the cig­ar fac­to­ry was soon back in busi­ness. Six months lat­er, Hitler came to pow­er and the Nazi gov­ern­ment for­bade the use of machines in the cig­ar indus­try so that tra­di­tion­al hand-rollers could be re-employed. The fac­to­ry was expro­pri­at­ed by the Deutsche Bank. The Cig­ar Fac­to­ry of Isay Rot­ten­berg is writ­ten by two of Rottenberg’s grand­daugh­ters, who knew lit­tle of their grandfather’s past until a call for claims for stolen or con­fis­cat­ed prop­er­ty start­ed them on a jour­ney of dis­cov­ery.