The Europe of Solomon’s youth is tired, at war, simmering with anti-semitism…
Solomon’s grandfather Lucas escapes fighting in the Napoleonic Wars by going to America. He comes back full of amazing tales of adventures, Indians and the mythical El Dorado.
As Solomon grows up, his very Jewish parents try to fit in to the bourgeois world around them. But the seeming emancipation of the Jews is tempered by the rise of nationalism and the ensuing anti-semitism.
With Germany standing on the brink of another war with France in 1869, like his grandfather before him, Solomon is about to be drafted. Instead he leaves for America…
NAPOLEON INVADES RUSSIA
– Solomon Bibo’s grandfather Lucas Rosenstein avoids the draft into Napoleon’s army and sets sail for America
LUCAS ROSENSTEIN RETURNS TO PRUSSIA
– Solomon’s grandfather returns to Prussia to reunite with his bride who didn’t want to leave for the New World
SOLOMON BIBO IS BORN
– On July 15th, Solomon is born in Brakel, in the Westphalia region of Prussia, to Isak and Blümchen Bibo. Solomon’s father is a teacher and a cantor.