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The Nazi Officer's Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust (1999)

de Edith Hahn Beer

Altres autors: Susan Dworkin

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Edith Hahn tells how she survived the Holocaust, first by going underground, using a Christian friend's identity papers, and eventually marrying Werner Vetter, a Nazi Party member who knew she was Jewish.
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'Another' WWII memoir by a Jewish survivor. This one is different as she managed to survive as an U-boot in Germany. This is very well written. She didn't have to remember all the details from scratch, as her friend in Vienna saved all the letters she wrote to him over the years. I can certainly recommend this even to those who have already read a lot about those times.

I read the German translation. ( )
1 vota MarthaJeanne | Dec 1, 2021 |
Even though I do not usually enjoy nonfiction stories, I loved this book. This book stands out to me from all other books about the Holocaust because it shows a different perspective to the war. When talking about the Holocaust, no one talks about what the innocent German civlians went though. This book talks about that. It also shows another way a jewish person suffered through the war without actually being in the concentration camps. Overall, even though it was very upsetting to read, I would recommend this book because it talks about different aspects of the Holocaust that are usually ignored. ( )
  Jilliangoldman | Nov 4, 2021 |
I have mostly read novels and only a couple of nonfiction books about WWII but this might be the first memoir. It doesn’t really talk about concentration camps and atrocities committed on the prisoners but about the human side of the survivors and people who helped them on the way.

Edith is from a loving Jewish family in Vienna studying to be a lawyer. When the Nazi’s come, she is denied her degree, forced out of her home into a ghetto and finally sent to labor camp. She works almost eighty hour work weeks while starving and her only hope being the letters and packages that she received from her mom and Pepi. After her mother is deported to Poland, she refuses to report to the authorities and after managing to secure false papers, moves to Munich. There she meets a Nazi party member Werner who falls in love with her and they get married.

There were some comments about Edith’s life that demeaned her for surviving as a German Nazi wife. But that’s the whole point of this book. In times of war, when living is the only matter of concern, is it really worth it to judge a woman for setting up a false identity and surviving under the enemy’s nose. Edith is a smart, intelligent woman who is deprived of everything – her education, dignity, a future, even basic food and shelter – and when all doors close for her freedom, she chooses the one way that she finds. She lives in constant fear of being caught, every minute of her existence, but still manages to carve out a life and family for herself. She suppresses her witty intelligent personality to become a meek submissive wife of a Nazi because all she wants is to live; because that’s the only thing she has left. Finally, when the occupation ends, she gets a chance to resume her true identity, even become a lawyer and judge to help the people who have lost everything in the war.

But this book is not just about Edith. It’s about all the people who chose to help her. Her friend Christl, a German who gave Edith her original papers at great peril to herself. Maria Niedarall, another German who provided her all the encouragement and resources to escape. Pepi, her eternal love whose letters provided her great relief and hope during the whole ordeal before her escape. Even Werner in some ways helps her because despite being his aggressive self and knowing Edith’s truth, he never betrays her.

This book is about humanity – how seemingly good people can turn their backs on friends for personal safety and well-being while at the same time, people from unexpected quarters risk their lives to help their fellow citizens. I think this book is a must read for anyone who thinks living in wartime and surviving is a black and white. Because it is most definitely not. ( )
1 vota ksahitya1987 | Aug 20, 2021 |
Of course, it's simply an unbelievable story. Very well-told. ( )
  tmph | Sep 13, 2020 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Beer, Edith Hahnautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Rosenblat, BarbaraNarradorautor principalalgunes edicionsconfirmat
Dworkin, Susanautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Bayer, Ottoautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Boer, Jan deDissenyador de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Bronswijk, Ineke vanTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Cohen, LoïcTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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In loving memory of my mother, Klothilde Hahn
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So you see, we had all the burdens of being Jewish in an anti-Semitic country, but none of the strengths—the Torah learning, the prayers, the welded community. We spoke no Yiddish or Hebrew. We had no deep faith in God. We were not Polish Chassidim or Lithuanian yeshiva scholars. We were not bold free Americans... And there were no Israelis then, no soldiers in the desert, no "nation like other nations." Hold that in your mind as I tell you this story.
I think my father knew how to be Jewish, but he did not teach us. He must have thought we would absorb it with our mother's milk.
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Edith Hahn tells how she survived the Holocaust, first by going underground, using a Christian friend's identity papers, and eventually marrying Werner Vetter, a Nazi Party member who knew she was Jewish.

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Mitjana: (3.88)
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