Heckscher - en familiesaga
In old family papers inherited from her mother the author finds a simple notebook entitled Livserindringer, life memories, written by her great grandfather Wiliam Heckscher – a broker at the Copenhagen stock exchange Børsen. The writing in the notebook, begun in March 1922, was meant to become a book for Wiliam’s children and even later generations. But while Wiliam goes into details about his own birth and childhood telling about his parents and grandparents, siblings and in-laws he gets disturbed and never finishes the full memoir. In late 1919 Wiliam’s youngest child, the son Knud, a 25-year-old unemployed engineer has left for Bangkok, where he works for Siam Electricity Company. In March 1922 Knud catches both malaria and typhoid fever and is close to dying. In the family papers, the author finds all the letters written back and forth between Knud in Bangkok and his parents in Copenhagen. This enables her to intertwine the ‘then’ – Wiliam’s memories – with the ‘now’ – Knud’s troubles in Siam and his parents’ desperate worries and plea for him to come home. The memoir and letters together present Jewish life in Denmark in the years of Wiliam’s childhood – late 19th century – and the time of writing in the early 20th century.