This memoir felt like a conversation with the author, between only the two of us. I loved it. I loved how easy it read in that way. Stories as personal as this are some of my favorites and this is right near the top.
The photos the author included are astounding, some of the words can even be made out. The reader can actually see, although I couldn't read it, the letter her husband had smuggled to her from a Siberian prisoner when he was a POW.
I think the biggest thing for me was how clear she made what her life was like. Most Holocaust readers "know" what life was like in the camps, even what life was like hidden in fields, forests, barns, someone's hidden room. But this may have been my first memoir about a person hiding out in the open.
I loved one part when, after the war she went back to get her papers changed and she met the same man who had given her papers saying she was "deutschblutig" (German-blooded). He was highly offended about the fact that she had lied to him.
There is testament after testament to the honor with which this woman lived/lives. She became a judge after the war which is where she had been headed before the war and before the Nazi's put a stop to it. She was offered, no, pushed, to judge Nazi cases - and she refused. How does one do that? I'd have accepted and punished them with everything I had. I can't imagine being so honest, so duty bound, that I would refuse. I have an immense respect for this woman.
Edith's daughter was born during the war and the way her husband acted on his return was hideous. Apparently the "Jewish blood" was stronger and overruled the "German blood". This makes no sense to me because weren't the Germans superior? Wouldn't that made this the other way around? Not to fit their crazy schemes. He had wanted a son - I wonder if it would have been the same? Would the sons Jewish blood had overridden the German? What a pity some people have these thoughts and feelings.
I can't count all of the times when I felt such sympathy for the author and as I kept reading realized she didn't need it. She has to be one of the strongest women to have ever lived.
She lived a remarkable life and we all owe her and her daughter a debt of gratitude that she's written it down for us to learn.
The Nazi Officer's wife reads like a novel even though It's a memoir of a very strong and brave Jewish woman who takes on the identity of a Christian Aryan to escape the horror of the Holocaust. It is fast paced and well written. Edith Hahn lived in Austria and refused to leave even though when she was steps away from her law degree when the Nazi's invaded and she was not allowed to go back to school.
Before she changed her identity, she was sent to a labor camp, all the while hoping her "mamma's boy" boyfriend, Pepi, will rescue and marry her. When she realizes this will never happen, she goes underground and resurfaces in Munich, as an Aryan and she tries to make herself invisible by not getting close to any one. However, she attracts the attention of a Nazi officer, Werner Vetter, who is smitten with her and she with him. Right before they marry, he finds out that she is Jewish and he keeps her secret.
She is the true example of a strong , intelligent woman who does what she has to do to survive. She somehow managed to save every document and picture through this ordeal and there is a very good display of them in the eighth chapter.
This was not a "feel good" book but when I read what she endured,I feel as though I will draw on her strength, when facing the toils and troubles that come with the happiness of life.
History is not always nice or pretty,but none the less it is history,and we must learn. This book should be required reading for all high school students, i think it would make some of the kids (if they could get that cell phone from their ear) maybe learn what you can actually do without, and how people who lived thru this time came thru most thankful and knew the real power of sharing, caring for one another and living thru a time most of us now could never imagine. These were strong strong people and this is a shared story of one life not to be forgotten when you finish this book.
A wonderful account of survival during the Nazi Regime.