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Gretel's Story: A Young Woman's Secret War Against The Nazis Paperback – August 7, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Lyons Press (August 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762770716
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762770717
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #578,566 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Well-written and succinct…[Gretel Wachtel's] defiance of the Gestapo and her willingness to serve time in a concentration camp gives Ms. Wachtel special status, similar to others like Oskar Schindler." – New York Journal of Books Gretel's Story reads like a novel... but it is also a most interesting history of what happened in Germany during the Third Reich. Wachtel's friendship with high-ranking officers who were anti-Hitler members of the Wehrtmacht, the failed plot to kill Hitler, the tragic British bombing of two vessels containing Jewish camp survivors, and our heroine's machinations with the charming Brits of the occupying force makes for fascinating reading. --Jewish Book World

From the Inside Flap

Gretel’s Story is the spellbinding account of a free-spirited young woman in a world in which few dared to speak up. Living in Hamburg, Germany, Gretel Wachtel bore witness to the disappearance of her best friend during Kristallnacht, the infamous night of atrocities against the Jewish population in 1938, and during the war she endured the constant bombing of her beloved city by the Allies, surviving the firestorm caused by Operation Gomorrah. An unguarded anti-Nazi comment resulted in her being forced to work in an ammunition factory, but she didn’t lose her desire to fight the totalitarian regime. 

Gretel married a Resistance fighter, helped the local priest to protect those hunted by the Gestapo, and hid her Jewish doctor in the cellar of her house. Called up to serve as a typist in the Wehrmacht, Gretel allied herself with the Resistance, passing on secrets learned from her work sending and receiving messages via the Enigma encryption machine. Finally arrested by the Gestapo in 1945 and taken to an internment camp, she was liberated as the British Army advanced toward Hamburg. 

Before the war, Gretel was a fun-loving girl who enjoyed a good time. She was an ordinary person thrust into extraordinary circumstances. Her wartime experiences—as chronicled in Gretel’s own voice by her friend, and journalist, Claudia Strachan—are nothing short of astonishing.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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I loved this woman!
booklover
I LOVE true to life stories and wish I could find more that hold my interest as well as this one does.
Michele Morrow
I felt the authors told too much about Gretel's very active sex life.
Gayle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Virginia C. Hughes on August 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The authors unveil a true story of life in Hamburg during the Nazi Regime and subsequent denazification. This 18 chapter hard cover book includes notorious elements such as the 1936 Olympic games, Stauffenberg plot, and the Enigma machine as well as life in a camp and continuous fear of captivity and allied bombing. From a young age Gretel was against the regime and determined to do what a young girl could to spoil Nazi efforts without leading to her own demise. Under national socialism and unmarried she was forced to work in ammunitions factories to support the war effort. When marriage became an option she capitulated but only for a short time. She worked for the Wehrmacht learning the Enigma and was an engaged participant in the black market where she helped many families. In guilt by association with Stauffenberg she was interrogated by the Gestapo and spent a short time in a holding camp before being freed at the war's end. After being in a handful of relationships she finds love and happiness in the company of a British Officer, Patrick making her new home in England. As is the case with many books on this horrific period there are findings not mentioned in other books. One of which is the statement that the true enemy of Germany was the Nazi regime which was instrumental in destroying its infrastructure leaving nothing for the allies and utter devastation for the German People.

After the war, In Hamburg, it is written that German women were enthusiastic about clearing the rubble so that living could be made bearable for the people that remained.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
But I LOVE it so far. My mother grew up during Hitler Germany and this reminds me so much of the stories she used to tell me of her youth. I LOVE true to life stories and wish I could find more that hold my interest as well as this one does.
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Format: Hardcover
I never tire of reading stories of those that were so brave and heroic during WWII. I loved this woman! She was real and shared her personal tragedies with grace and honesty. I read this book in 2 days and relished every bit of it along the way.........Wish that there were more of her to read about! This is a must read....but block some time.......you won't want to put it down!
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