In Search of Ernst

Discovering the Unspoken Fate of the Königsgartens


Cover pic

The discovery of documents in the metal trunk hidden in the attic showed that my father’s family was clearly Jewish, or considered so by the Nazis. We had always been told that my father and his immediate family were not Jewish, merely ‘anti-Hitler’ … many more members of the family had perished in concentration camps than I had ever known had even existed“.

In Search of Ernst uncovers the hidden family history of the Königsgarten family, which was uprooted and decimated by the Nazis during the Second World War.

Only now, following the discovery of family papers and research in archives in the Czech Republic and Austria, can the fate of the author’s grandfather Ernst and the untold histories of his family be told.

Michael Garton has unearthed the full story – his father’s battles with the Home Office to obtain British nationality, the complex relationships of his grandmother Lisi, and the fate of Ernst and other members of the family. So thorough were the Nazi records and so carefully have they been preserved that even the inventories of Ernst’s confiscated possessions are still in existence today for all to read.

A profoundly moving and well-written family memoir detailing the fanaticism and multiple tragedies which afflicted Europe in the mid-twentieth century, In Search of Ernst is also a drama of revelations with all the attractions of a first-rate detective story.

Königsgarten family tree
Map of Central Europe
1. The Search Begins
2. Alt Aussee
3. The National Archives
4. Between the Wars Vienna
5. Vienna
6. Theresienstadt
7. The ‘Alpine Fortress’
8. Central European trip 2014
Appendix 1 ─ Last Days in Vienna
Appendix 2 ─ Lisi’s Diary
Appendix 3 ─ Flensburg Letter


Michael Garton picMichael Garton was born in London in 1947.

After studying Economics at Trinity College, Dublin, he worked in banking for four years before becoming a lawyer. He lives in an old post office in Oxfordshire.




In Search of Ernst
Discovering the Unspoken Fate of the Königsgartens
Michael Garton
xxviii + 194 pages, illustrated with over 50 photographs
Horsgate Books, 22 Portland Road, Oxford OX2 7EY
Hardcover. ISBN 978-0-9927152-4-3, £16.50
Publication: September 2015
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