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Andrea Slane, assistant professor of English, recently finished work with colleagues in Germany, Indianapolis and Baltimore on a hypertext site that tells the story of their families' ties to the Holocaust.

Slane and her collaborators -- Beckham Dossett, Jael Lehmann and Rachel Schreiber -- contributed material and designed the site, a matrix of family photos and text that tells their stories. The Web address is http://www.mica.edu/schreiber/thirdgeneration.html.

Slane found out only recently that family photographs of her grandfather, a judge and a member of the Nazi party who was killed in a Russian POW camp at the end of World War II, had been doctored by her grandmother, removing all references to her grandfather's politics.

The photos reveal a layered German history: mother crosses and Nazi party pins -- some erased, some inked out, some left as is -- which are part of a visual family history that her grandmother never mentioned.

One of Slane's colleagues contributed pictures from her Jewish grandfather, who photographed a trip abroad in 1937 -- a dangerous time for Jews in Europe -- and returned safely to his home in the United States. Another colleague's family left Germany during the war, but returned soon after.

This article was posted on: May 12, 2000

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