An unusual Holocaust survivor story that provides many interesting facts and insights about life for Jews who avoided the death camps. I never knew, for example, that young Jewish women were essentially enslaved to German farmers, and did backbreaking field work for free (living under starving conditions that make migrant farmworker conditions in the 40's look luxurious). These women did this work because they were told their families would be spared deportation if they did (and, of course, they were lied to). The author, as a young woman, was moved from the farm to a factory, where she was also enslaved under terrible working conditions. I also enjoyed this book as a coming-of-age story that happened during a terrible time.
This book will remain in my mind and heart forever. The author's story was compelling, but the writing style and candor is what set this book part. I could 'see' through the author's eyes and into her heart. I could not put this book down. This book should be required reading for every history class.
As the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, I have encountered a variety of people with different accounts, this one is by far the most unique and has provoked new thoughts about the subject.
I don't usually read books about the Holocaust, but I was just blown away by this wonderful, courageous woman's experiences and ultimate triumph living through the Holocaust in Europe- it was a touching, beautiful, inspiring story- and the writing was not a bit dry, it was very fast paced and interesting. I loved it!
If not for the urging of her daughter, Edith Beer wouldn't have written this book and this amazing story of courage and ingenuity would have been lost to history. It is of paramount importance to preserve first person accounts of the Holocaust and this one is fascinating.
Mrs. Beer is what is termed a "U Boat" ( called so by this type of survivor themselves). The reference refers to spending the war "just under the surface", akin to "hiding in plain sight".
This is a great book, a very riveting story of Edith Hahn an outspoken and well educated young woman that lived in Vienna when the Gestapo forced Edith and her Mother to move to the Ghetto. Edith fights for her Mother to
not be sent but Edith is sent away to a labor camp when she returns her Mother is gone. Edith recalls her life in great detail unlike many other Holocaust survivors accounts and tells a very honest account of life during WW2. She was gutsy and not afraid to take risks.
I really enjoyed this book and highly reccommend it to anyone that likes to read Holocaust/ WW2 survival stories. This is not light reading but it is not as graphic as some others I have read.
Great book. I could almost feel the tension, fear, and anxiety that the author felt. Although written as a memoir it was an incredible read.
I had no idea, even though we have been taught in school and people have discussed this issue for over 70 years, how horible it must have been growing up in Nazi Germany during Hitler's rule. The author puts you right in the middle to every emotion one would have felt during that time.
By the way, Chapter 14 (the final chapter) brought tears to my eyes. You gotta read this book.
This is a very interesting book from a different point of view. This woman found a way to improve her life as a jew in a nazi world. This wasn't what I expected and can't imagine the difficulty she had concealing her identity from almost everyone. She lived in fear but did not have to endure the concentration camps as other jews did. A great read that I feel shouldn't be missed!
I really enjoyed this book because I learned details about existing in the Nazi era that I'd not known about, such as food stamps, clothing allowances, etc. Being a true story, it was a real eye opener about survival.
Story of a Jewish woman who goes into hiding as a Jew and emerges in Germany with doctored papers, who ends up marrying a Nazi officer (who knew she was Jewish); yet she lived every day, fearing for her life. Compelling read.
I completely devoured this novel. Once I started, I could not put it down. I was fascinated by this woman's life and experiences through WW2. We all know that the Jews suffered great horrors in the concentration camps, but we hear little of those who suffered in so many other ways. This woman wasn't sent to a concentration camp, but her experiences were just as tragic. I am moved by this woman's courage and ability to cope through extreme hardship. The unspeakable amounts of fear that she had to endure are heart-breaking.
Not only was this woman's story fascinating, but her representation of what was going on in Europe during that time was very educational. It was like getting a first-hand, inside look at the thoughts and intentions of not only the Germans, but also the French, British, Russians, and Americans. I saw WW2 from her viewpoint, and it was very different from that of other books I've read about the holocaust.
This quite possibly the best book I have ever read. I gave it 5 stars and if I could have given it more I would have. The Nazi Officers Wife is a powerful story, told by the woman who lived it. She was a Jewish woman who grew up in Austria. She remained in Austria and Germany throughout the war and was able to survive through sheer luck and the kindness of others. Her story is heartbreaking and inspirational. You feel almost like your there with her while reading her words. If this book does not move you, you must be without a heart.
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.
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.
This Holocaust memoir was hard to put down. It tells the story of Edith Hahn, a well-educated Viennese Jewish woman who managed to survive working in a slave labor camp, avoided being deported, and lived as an Aryan Christian woman married to a Nazi officer through the use of false papers. The story is as fantasticly improbable as it sounds, yet, it really happened. There were many insights into the causes and thinking behind the tremendous anti-semitism in Austria during that time, as well as the sheer terror she must have felt trying to live un-noticed and under the radar during that horrible time in history. It was impossible to put this book down!
This was a book that I just kept waiting to get better. I never warmed to Edith at all. The history in the book was interesting, and the pictures and documents were also. But I found Edith to be unsympathetic. This is entirely her story and how she survived the war, not how she assisted others.
The Book Blurb Says: Edith Hahn was an outspoken young woman in Vienna when the Gestapo forced her into a ghetto and then into a labero camp. When she returned home months later, she knew she would become a hunted woman and went underground. With the help of a Christian firend, 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, her married her and kept her identity a secret. In wrenching detail, Edith recalls a life of constant, almost paralyizing fear...Yet despite the risk it posed to her life, Edith created a remarkable record of survival.
I say: An engrossing bit of history - replete with biography, documents, papers, photographs (all now part of the Halocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC). There's a lot to be learned from this woman.
It is very interesting learning how Edith Hahn Beer survived the war living in Germany. A very couragous woman. I am sorry I cannot share this book. I bought it off the internet. It has numerous high-lighting. A shame.
Simply written firsthand account of a U-boat's survival in Nazi Germany.
"Edith Hahn was an outspoken young woman in Vienna when the Gestapo forced her into a ghetto and then into a 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..."
Edith Hahn was an outspoken young woman in Vienna when the Gastapo forced her into a ghetto and then into a 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 of German officials who casually questioned the lineage of her parents; of how, when giving birth to her daughter, she refused all painkillers, afraid that in an altered state of mind she might reveal something of her past; and of how, after her husband was captured by the Soviet army, she was bombed out of her house and had to hide while drunken Russian soldiers raped women on the street.
Yet despite the risk it posed to her life, Edith created a remarkable record of survival. She saved every document and set of papers issued to her, as well as photographs she managed to take 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.