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Some Girls, Some Hats and Hitler: A True Love Story Rediscovered Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Length: 289 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Kanter’s jaunty title reflects the unusually breezy nature of this Holocaust-era memoir. The author, a Jewish hatmaker, recalls her efforts to flee Nazi-occupied Vienna with her beloved paramour in tow. While the inherent danger of the situation creates a compelling subtext that strengthens the narrative, Kanter’s often matter-of-fact tone and her keen observations about men, fashion, and sex are a reminder that many seemingly insignificant yet entirely human facets of life go on despite the cruel realities of imminent warfare. From Paris to Vienna to London, Kanter creates a vibrant tapestry of her incredible odyssey through one of the darkest periods in contemporary history. Romance, passion, and peril create an authentically vivid backdrop for this intimate chronicle originally published (and quickly forgotten) in England in 1984. --Margaret Flanagan


“This one memoir is a generous- spirited book. Its many delightful moments, as well as its almost matter-of-fact description of menace and impending danger, stay long in the mind.” (Wall Street Journal )

“What makes the book so instantly mesmerizingis Trudi Kanter herself, who fashioned sentences just the way she fashionedhats as a milliner in late 1930s Vienna—each a dazzling, delicate object ofdelight.” (, Book of the Week )

“TrudiKanter's memoir is blessed with a wonderful title and an even better backstory…her spirited charm will win you over.” (USA Today )

“In a rediscovered memoir, the charmed life of designer Trudi Kanter is split open as the Nazis claim Vienna and terror reigns. Every Holocaust story is worth remembering, and Trudi's is unique—she refuses to lose her vision of what the world should be at its very best: a place of red roses, Paris avenues, and above all else, true love.” (Alice Hoffman, author of The Dovekeepers )

“There have been many books by and about refugees from the Third Reich…but there can be few if any that manage to combine terror and death with such sheer frivolity as this engaging memoir….Ms. Kanter’s attraction to the light rather than the storm clouds that bedeviled so much of her existence makes her book a happy read.” (Washington Times )

“With a natural writing style, a talent for re-creating the details of daily life (especially the fashions), Trudi, who died in 1992, comes alive for the reader, creating what becomes a valuable piece of social history. But more than all this, her memoir is a poem of love to her husband, to the cities of Vienna and Paris, and to a way of life that, in the twinkling of an eye, completely disappeared.” (Chicago Jewish Star )

Some Girls,Some Hats and Hitler does not minimize the horrors of war or the Holocaust, but through Kanter's delightful hopefulness and spare,riveting writing, it presents an unusual memoir of an era that must not be forgotten.” (Shelf Awareness )

“This Holocaust memoir is more a tale of love than a horror story of Nazi-occupied Europe...the words

and imagery flow beautifully.” (Publishers Weekly )

“From Paris to Vienna to London, Kantercreates a vibrant tapestry of her incredible odyssey through one of the darkestperiods in contemporary history. Romance, passion, and peril create anauthentically vivid backdrop for this intimate chronicle.” (Booklist )

“This book is a remarkable, first-hand account of life during the time, and the importance that fashion played in the survival of Kanter and her loved ones.” ( )

Product Details

  • File Size: 3336 KB
  • Print Length: 289 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; Reprint edition (October 9, 2012)
  • Publication Date: October 9, 2012
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #498,073 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The story behind this book is an unusual one. It was printed by a small press, went out of print and was found in a used bookshop and reprinted. The publisher can't even find a copyright holder.

While not the best written of Holocaust memoirs, it does give you a different perspective. Trudi Ehrlich was a well-to-do Jewish milliner in Vienna when she first heard the rumblings from her friends to get out of town. Quickly. Though the life she leads is somewhat trivial in the greater scheme of things, she's really clever and manages to get herself, her husband and her parents to London. I wasn't crazy about her husband, who is in no great rush to leave Austria. He wants to think it over. Luckily for him, he hitched himself to the right woman.

I liked the book but didn't love it. I think if you read this, you should then read "The Hare with Amber Eyes" by Edmund De Waal. It's also about a rich Jewish family in Vienna who lost everything. Beautifully written and extremely informative.
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Format: Hardcover
In March 1938 came the _Anschluss_, the march of thousands of Nazi troops to reclaim Austria for the Fuehrer who had been born there. In Vienna, a witness to the intrusion was Trudi Kanter, a young milliner with a showroom in the city. She was half Jewish, and she was to witness the rampage and the outrages, and she was eventually able to get herself, her husband, and her parents out to safety in England. She brought out a self-published survivor's memoir in 1984, which almost no one seems to have noticed. An editor rediscovered it years ago in a second-hand bookshop, and at last it is going to be noticed. _Some Girls, Some Hats, and Hitler: A True Love Story Rediscovered_ (Scribner) gives Trudi's story, with its unforgettable views of the beau monde of Vienna, its frightening account of the Nazi goons moving in, and the surprising fight she had to make for her husband and father's freedom after they all got to England. Trudi is sharp, observant, funny, and full of love for her Walter; the book works as an important memoir of a unique time but also as a personal love letter. Sadly, Trudi died twenty years ago and could not know how many people are going to be affected by her work this time.

Trudi was a beautiful young woman whose bright red hair was always crowned by one of her chic hats. She had a hat manufactory and showroom in Vienna, employing twelve young women. Trudi's appetite for color, for pastry, and for male company are constants in these pages, which benefit from the keen observation of someone who worked in fashion. She happened to be in Paris in March 1938, doing her buying for the coming season, when she saw the headlines that the Germans had prepared to enter Austria.
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Format: Hardcover
"Some Girls, Some Hats And Hitler" by Trudi Kanter
Scribner, New York, 1982/2012

This book is subtitled, "A True Love Story". In many ways, it IS a love story, the love between Trudi and Walter. In other ways, the book is a concise history of the Nazi aggression from the 1938 Anschluss of Austria until the end of the war in Europe in 1945.

Trudi was part of a Jewish family in Vienna, Austria, when Nazi Germany began to expand and no country dared to stop them. In a personal way, Trudi documents the confusion and indecision of her family and so many other Jews. Trudi wanted to run from Nazi occupied Vienna, but found it difficult to convince her lover, Walter, and her parents. The parents were older and settled in their ways.

Bit by bit, Trudi explains how she worked, bribed and stood in line to obtain visas for herself and for Walter, so they could go to England. Using her hat business as a ploy, she gets to England first, and then strives to get Walter over. As she settles down in England, she uses her millinery contacts to arrange for English visas for her parents.

Every now and then, Trudi Kanter begins a chapter with a date. What struck me was September 3 1939. Then I realized that that was the day that England (and France) declared war on Germany. Her book is a mini-history of the important dates of the war in Europe. The author records how the English company took advantage of her hat designing skills and then paid her a minimum amount of money.

There were personal aspects of the book, including the joy of having her husband (she married Walter) Join her in England, and then her parents. Walter designed an important unit in a British aircraft, but did not take out a patent on the item.
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By Nurse on January 7, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Loved the history. well written. A real find. You can almost see yourself in that world. I am glad I bought it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the human perspective of living through world word II. I was impressed with this woman's resourcefulness. A lot of stories are about famous people or great battles rather than everyday people. It was interesting to understand what everyday life was like. How people coped with how very frightening life was.
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Format: Hardcover
If the title of this Holocaust memoir makes Hitler seem inconsequential it's because, well, he is. Yes, there's fear laced in these pages, but there is joy here, too. At times, the prose is so lively it is almost sunny - bursting with the scenery of Austria, Paris and London. Trudi Katner is not one to hide in the shadows, to cower from her hunters and hope for mercy. No, she is a woman of action - a leading lady in Parisian society, a fashionista, a business woman. She has the foresight, as early as 1935, to know that her home in Vienna, Austria is not safe from Nazi invasion and she begins scheming, making arrangements to secure freedom for her and her husband.

This story was so refreshing. To see a woman in a place of empowerment, taking her destiny into her own hands and making a difference. To see her come up, time and time again, against stalwart men and an unyielding regime and win. To see her supercede the passivity of her husband and do what is necessary rather than waiting for him to come through as protector...was an inspiration. Trudi's spirit is unquenchable - she never falters in her appreciation of what's beautiful and elegant and never stops wanting to surround herself with it, even in times of privation. Her pastimes made me realize that the world didn't stop just because the war started. People still had personalities and preferences and dreams, and they pursued them as best they could. Think Alicia Silverstone in Clueless - only shrewder, not as ditzy. Would Cher have let the Holocaust stop her? No, she probably would've found a way to assert herself, even then.

Also interesting to me was the final chapter of this story - Trudi and Walter's life in London. They escape Nazi Germany, but not the violence and persecution of wartime.
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