Stephan R. Frenkel

Stephan R. Frenkel

Local author Stephan R. Frenkel will present a free talk on “Clara’s Secret” at the Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society’s monthly meeting Saturday, Sept. 17.

The hybrid event will take place at the First Presbyterian Church at 21 E. Constance Ave., Santa Barbara, and will be available via Zoom. Special Interest Groups meet at 9:30 a.m. (in-person only), followed by a short business meeting at 10:30 a.m., and Frenkel’s presentation at 11 a.m.

Re: “Clara’s Secret,” In 1939, the most perilous year of her life, Clara was forced to emigrate from Berlin, her city of origin, toward a distant and uncertain destiny. As she journeyed alone into the unknown, she searched for understanding in the history of the great metropolis and turned to her collection of memories from her adolescence at the dawn of the twentieth century.

This was the time of La Belle Époque – the Beautiful Era; an age of optimism and promise, and one of the most dramatic transformations of culture in the progress of mankind. The illuminating celebrities of the era traveled to the Prussian capital to affirm their careers and announce themselves on the world stage.

Clara’s experiences, and those of the many significant figures she learned of and chanced upon, portray Berlin at a time when the imperial city and a young lady were coming of age.

Frenkel is an accidental author. The subject of “Clara’s Secret” inspired him to research family genealogy and to write. He is a first-generation American, born in New York and currently living in Santa Barbara.

Frenkel’s principal profession is as an architect and land planner with experience in national and international projects. “Clara’s Secret” is a tribute to his most admired heroes.

To register for the Zoom presentation or learn more about the Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society, visit