The Nazi Officer's Wife
by Edith Hahn Beer
Out of thirty-six students in my class, three were Jews- Steffi Kanagur, Erna Marcus, and I. One day somebody wrote on their desks: " Jews, get out, go to Palestine!" Nobody wrote on my desk, because those girls were from Poland and I came from Austria and they seemed (actually they were) more overtly Jewish than I was. It was 1930. ~ Edith pg. 33
Started: March 26, 2012
Finished: March 29, 2012
From the cover:
Edith Hahn was an outspoken young woman in Vienna when the Gestapo forced her into a ghetto and then into a labor camp. When she returned home months later, she went underground. With the help of a Christian friend, she emerged in Munich as Grete Denner. There she met Werner Vetter, a Nazi Party member who fell in love with her. Despite Edith's protests and her eventual confession that she was Jewish, he married her and kept her identity a secret.
In wrenching detail, Edith recalls a life of constant, almost paralyzing fear. She tells how German officials casually questioned the lineage of her parents; how during childbirth she refused all painkillers, afraid that in an altered state of mind she may reveal something of her past; and how, after her husband was captured by the Soviets, she was bombed out of her house and had to hide while drunken Russian soldiers raped women on the street.
Despite the risk it posed to her life, Edith created a remarkable record of survival. She saved every document, as well as photographs she took inside labor camps. Now part of the permanent collection at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C., these hundreds of documents, several of which are included in this volume, form the fabric of a gripping new chapter in the history of the Holocaust- complex, troubling, and ultimately triumphant.
This book was AMAZING! I have somewhat of an obsession with learning anything I can about the Holocaust. It is, for me, one of the most fascinating, while tragic events ever! Fact, fiction or documentary, I will probably learn something new about it. As for The Nazi Officer's Wife, it was one of the most well written and "real" stories I have read. Edith was such a strong, determined woman. How can we, in today's world even imagine what it took to not only survive such a time, but to survive, live, and re-live these events...this life, to show, educate and touch so many others in a book. Her written story will linger with me forever. I will definitely pass this book along to anyone interested in reading and learning more. I also found a movie, by the same name, based on the book. I cannot wait to watch it!
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