The term ‘royalty’ has been associated with rights granted by a sovereign ruler to an individual since the late 15th century. That is a fitting term for the share of profit given by the publisher who has almost complete control over the fate of an author’s body of work that represents many hours of hard, sweat-soaked labor.
When I promised that all royalties from sales of A Place They Called Home would be donated for good causes, I wondered if there ever would be any royalties. So it was a pleasant surprise to learn that our book generated a modest sum of 435 Euros in 2019. Now we have the chance to give something back. Just as the book project was supported by the Stiftung Zurückgeben, a foundation that ‘gives back’ to Jewish women living in Germany, we can do our small part to help repair all that is bent and broken in the world.
After consulting with the co-authors of our book on reclaiming German citizenship, we are making the following donations:
- Bahnhofsmission am Bahnhof Zoo (100 Euros, Proposed by me) https://www.berliner-stadtmission.de/bahnhofsmission/projekte/hilfen-fuer-wohnungslose/am-bahnhof-zoo
- The Blue Card Fund ($100, Proposed by Rabbi Kevin Hale) https://www.bluecardfund.org
- The Lost Souls Public Memorial Project ($75, Proposed by Dean Rueb Romero) https://lostsoulsmemorialnj.org
- Campaign Zero ($75, Proposed by Sally Hess) https://www.joincampaignzero.org/#vision
- Cape Town Together Community Action Network (75 Euros, Proposed by Nancy R. Krisch) https://www.groundup.org.za/article/how-cape-town-group-helping-neighbourhoods-fight-covid-19/
These donations will help people living on the streets in Berlin, needy Holocaust survivors, victims of police violence in America, and people suffering from Covid-19 in South Africa. Donating the royalties has given me a chance to reconnect with my wonderful group of co-authors and offers me a small sense of solace after the recent months of feeling helpless and frustrated during the global pandemic.
Andy Warhol painting by Olivia Swarthout. Follow Olivia’s art on instagram at instagram.com/grendelsfather