- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (March 10, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062378082
- ISBN-13: 978-0062378088
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4,842 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,965 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Nazi Officer's Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust Paperback – March 10, 2015
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From the Back Cover
Edith Hahn was an outspoken young woman in Vienna when the Gestapo forced her into a ghetto and then into a slave labor camp. When she returned home months later, she knew she would become a hunted woman and 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 even 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 might 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.
About the Author
Born in Vienna in 1914, Edith Hahn Beep, currently resides in Netanya, Israel. She and Werner Vetter divorced in 1947. Her daughter, Angela, lives in London and is believed to be the only Jew born in a Reich hospital in 1944.
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Top customer reviews
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She arrived to take the last examination and was refused admittance and removed from the university because she was a Jew, from that moment on her life was in a downward turmoil. She was sent off to a labor camp for Jews doing hard physical labor in the fields. Before this she had never worked physically in her life. On a trip, back to Vienna she took the star off her coat, slipped away as she left the train and passed as an Aryan. She got papers from a catholic friend and moved to Munich where she worked as a nurse’s aide at a Red Cross Hospital. The only job she could get that did not check her papers against the National Registry was the Red Cross. She did not want to get her friend in trouble so she had to stay out of sight. She married Werner Vetter a Nazi Party member. She had a daughter which made her a popular woman with the Nazis. Werner was captured on the Eastern Front by the Russians and sent to Siberia.
The book is well written and the description of daily life under the Nazis was interesting. All of Edith’s paper are at the Holocaust Memorial in Washington, D. C. She resides in Israel. It was her daughter that pushed her to tell her story. The book is 330 pages long. I read this as an e-book on my Kindle app for my iPad.
Living through war and its atrocities is mind boggling and bewildering. Being able be a "u-boat" as Edith was in order to survive the war is incredibly amazing and nothing short of a miracle.
During the war Edith marries a Nazi, hiding the fact that she was a Jew. She was a loving wife and mother and subservient to her husband. After the war, she returned to being her true self and takes back her life as a Jew and a Judge. She is a true hero to me.
Thank you for sharing your amazing heroistic survival with the world.
How someone could survive through the worst conditions imaginable, how some were saved by the most seemingly insignificant thing, how some would risk such terrible danger to help total strangers. Such evil set beside such compassion, such hope in the midst of crushing despair, life that will not be extinguished though surrounded by so much death. That is what has intrigued me. I have read many articles and books and watched many documentaries. I was even privileged to visit Dachau and see the memorial there. Every story is unique. Every story is special. A tale of how God preserved the lives of those that the world around them was seeking to destroy.
This is the tale of Edith Hahne. A young well-educated Socialist Jew caught in WWII Austria. Most of her family escaped early to safety, but she didn't get out. She was spared deportation to the concentration camps, but still faced some of the horrors of war. She survived most of the war through years of backbreaking forced labor, facing threat of deportation, starvation, freezing, insomnia, all with the help of family, friends, kind strangers, an iron will, and most importantly the hand of God. In the later years of the war, using an assumed name with false papers she became the wife of a top Nazi industrialist turned SS officer. Surviving in the heart of Anti-Semitism, keeping her identity, education, and personality secret, Edith endured all the propaganda, hate, and lies against her people with the hope that one day she would be united with her family again. Through more years of hardship after the war she finally escaped to freedom.
It's a heartwrenching but beautiful story. I am so glad her story was told and that I was privileged to read it. May we never forget.