Steven mother and her family, the Ichenhäusers, were a thoroughly assimilated Jewish-German family with roots in the Cologne area dating back hundreds of years. They led rich lives there, enjoying the city’s urban lifestyle and vibrant cultural life. In the early 20th century, three sons even served in the German army during the first world war. But when the Nazis arrived, they spared no Jews regardless of how long their families had lived in Germany and notwithstanding their service in the German military. Steven’s mother, along with some of her family, managed to escape the Nazi regime in 1938, but many family members and family friends did not.