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Hansi: The Girl Who Loved the Swastika
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Hansi: The Girl Who Loved the Swastika

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  323 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
Paperback, 243 pages
Published December 28th 1980 by Tyndale House Publishers (first published February 1st 1973)
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Sep 21, 2010 Kathryn rated it really liked it
This is a very moving memoir written in the 1970's by Marie Anne Hirschmann (nicknamed Hansi at one point in the story) who was a 14 year-old from the Sudentenland when she won a scholarship to a Hitler Youth school in Prague. It is chilling to read of her growing devotion to the Fuhrer, as she and the other students listen in rapt attention to his radio broadcasts:

At that time I heard one of Hitler's many speeches over the radio. We listened to all of them, but that address was something specia
May 19, 2015 Madison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. From Hitler-worshipper to a Christian wife and mother. Inspiring, fascinating autobiography.
Natalie Vellacott
I have just re-read this book which is a moving account of a young Czech woman who ends up serving as a leader in the Nazi Youth movement in Germany. She speaks openly of her prior allegiance to Hitler and his ideals, basically having been groomed through various forms of propaganda along with many of the youth. Eventually she begins to realise that the Nazis are "evil" and those that oppose them are not. She flees her country and becomes a refugee. Later in life she becomes a Christian through ...more
Stephanie Blake
Apr 22, 2013 Stephanie Blake rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fact is truly more amazing than fiction. Maria Anne shares her story with candor.

As a young person, Maria Anne felt privileged to be part of the Hitler Youth. She believed the lies that Hitler told his people. Even after his death, she still looked for the Reich to reign for the thousand years he promised. Finally, reality hit.

As she left for her assignment with the Hitler Youth, Maria's mother (a strong Christian) reminded her to never forget Jesus. She did ignore Him for a very large portion
May 09, 2016 Hannah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars
I read this in high school and loved the beginning. It's chilling and amazing to read her testimony.

At times it's rough, even violent (seeing her friend violated)...I loved her journey, though, until the ending, which was added to my modern edition. Her moving in with a woman would have been okay if it had not led people to doubt her calling. Roommate situations are fine under the right circumstances...but in leading people to question her motives and doubt her virtue, I find issue wit
Sep 24, 2009 Kari rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My aunt sent me this book when she cleaned out her bookshelves when moving from Washington to Alaska. I have always enjoyed reading books about Christians who stood up for what they believed in during WWII (fav is The Hiding Place). This book was different because the heroine was a Nazi girl, who met Christ after the war ended. She was an amazing person who went through incredible ordeals and God protected her and saved her for His own.
Rhonda Hall
Feb 05, 2017 Rhonda Hall rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book several times as a girl and wanted to read it again since it had been years. It was not disappointing. Real and candid. Loved seeing the transformation. Laughed and cried. Glad I bought the book. I'll read it again.
Mar 02, 2016 Jaclynn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
That was a whole lot of talk about god, obviously Christians would be most likely to enjoy this. Not being a Christian or having any interest in reading anything evangelical/preachy, I had to skip chunks of the second half of the book. It was too nonsensical. I also found her charismatic leanings difficult in places as she uses "God told me to do this" for virtually everything. The first half of the novel, however, was interesting. Hansi's troubled childhood, her being accepted into the Nazi You ...more
Feb 08, 2011 Lynelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recently-loved
I loved this book! At first the title is a little put-offish. Don't want anyone to think I am a hitler lover-Ewwww! This autobiography is a first hand account about a young girl who is deceived and drawn into the nazi youth and all its ideals. This book documents her ordeal as she discovers the truth and Christ's love. With each step you can see God's protection. She experienced some of the greatest hardships and survived some of the greatest threats to life. She turned her back against her chil ...more
Aug 10, 2010 Ashley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is truly amazing. I had the great honor of hearing Maria Hirschmann speak at a conference and her story impacts you to the core. You gain a some insight into the lives of those who were involved with the Hitler Youth Program. My recommendation is to keep an open mind, for this book gives a fresh dose of medicine to the disease of ignorance. This is a fantastic book and I would recommend it a hundred times over again.
Jun 17, 2011 Jayme rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Walking through a town-wide garage sale in 05/06 I spotted the corner of this book. I'm so happy I picked it up, what a find for a few cents. This book is a beautiful memoir of a girl who goes from innocent devotion to Hitler to finding true love and faith in The Lord. You'll be crying through tears, and cheering her on through the book. What an inspirational book!
Dec 17, 2011 Victoria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am currently reading this book for the second time because I enjoyed reading it so much. It is so intresting to get a gilmpse into the mind of a girl who was basically brainwashed by Nazi ideals. The story is so captivating because it is real. Hirschmann is an amazing woman. My mom was able to see her speak a few decades ago. I cannot wait to meet her in heaven!
Okay, so right after you get done with the Diary of Anne Frank and The Hiding Place, go ahead and pick up this one. This is, as Paul Harvey always said: "The rest of the story." Or, rather, the story from the other side of the battle.
Aug 01, 2013 Stacye rated it it was amazing
I just finished this book and am so sorry it's over. What an insight I got from reading the story of Hansi. I recommend it highly. I study World War II / Holocuast history and learned about a whole other aspect of those years. What a find!
D.K. Brantley
Oct 10, 2016 D.K. Brantley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Decided to go through a bookshelf at home and read what I've not read yet. Found this jewel that belonged to my wife's grandmother.

Powerful, honest, memorable.
Joe D
Dec 29, 2015 Joe D rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful, absurd propaganda.
Jan 08, 2014 Sheri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hansi (Marie) had been rejected by her father as a young girl. She lived with foster parents in Germany right before Hitler came to power. She loved her foster mother very much and was taught to pray and worship Jesus. Her foster father resented her presence very much in the home, as they had many children already and not much food, as it was. She felt like she didn't belong anywhere. Then, word came of a contest to her little Czech village and the winner would go the Nazi school in Prague. She ...more
May 08, 2015 Jodi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mrs. Hirschmann's story is heart-wrenching and amazing. She writes excellently and her memoir is gripping and terrifying. It is not surprising to me in the least that she suffered from stomach ulcers throughout her life; I suspect I may have developed a few of my own while reading her story!!

She was a Hitler Youth throughout the entire war and only at the end of it did she become disillusioned and begin to learn the truth about the Nazi regime. As she struggled through the post-war years, she ev
Oct 05, 2013 Christine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Though the book is intended for older youth and young adults, I recommend it for adults also. It is well written and eye opening. It is easy to wonder how so many people were taken in by the Nazis. This book presents how easily youths who are yearning to belong can be taken in by a system that seems to offer that fulfillment. It also demonstrates how effectively the Nazi regime tailored their indoctrination to draw people in to their ranks as when Hansi charged with getting Nazi children on trai ...more
Rayan Brantdt
Jun 17, 2012 Rayan Brantdt rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
a young peasant girl basks in hitler's handsome shadow, sends sexy letters to a million aryan studs, and eventually finds solace in the embrace of the one TRUE fuhrer: our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. kind of like the bizarro diary of Anne Frank. why did i read this book. i didn't even finish it, i stopped like half way through. if towards the end she eventually meets hitler and his flesh starts to melt in the glow of a rusty cross around her neck, i apologize for this prematurely ejaculated r ...more
Apr 29, 2015 Ana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ana by: Monica Willyard
What a beautiful story!

Surprisingly, given our vastly different experiences and backgrounds, I was able to relate to a lot of the observations made in this book. Especially some of the comments on America from an immigrant's perspective.

Her story is told simply and honestly, and in my opinion, it is all the more touching for it's straightforwardness. I wish we had the chance to be friends.
Nov 25, 2013 Jenopcer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a well written story, and very moving. I'm continually amazed at the cruelty of those times. The only criticism I would make is that though she felt betrayed by Hitler, she didn't seem to have much remorse for all the evil that the Nazi party (she was a Hitler Youth) and Hitler inflicted -- in fact she hardly mentioned it. I would have liked to have known what she thought about the true doings of the Nazi Party once her eyes were opened.
Dec 04, 2008 Petra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Hansi is a strong woman of faith. I would enjoy hearing her lecture or speak at a conference if she ever came to town. A heartfelt story of her growing up in Czechoslovakia, her time in the Hilter Youth, her escape from the Communists and finally her immigration to the USA and her journey here in America. I was torn with a 2 or 3 star rating. I wish they had half stars sometimes.....
Oct 30, 2011 Kenna rated it it was amazing
I usually am not really into biographies... but what I love about this one is that its so to the point and clear. My mom, who read it before me, says its because the author, Maria Anne Hirschmann, is German. That makes sense. Maria Anne has a great story to tell, its her whole life with in 200 pages! If you have a chance to read Hansi, do so.
May 30, 2015 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I seem to be on this World War II kick. This was truly one of the most inspirational books I've ever read. I could hardly put it down! What a life this woman led--it would have been a shame if she hadn't written a book! But, oh, what she accomplished. Makes me feel like such a slacker!
Monica Willyard
Apr 28, 2015 Monica Willyard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookshare
What a wonderful story! The story has filled my heart with hope, peace, and a deeper understanding and compassion for a culture I didn't understand. God has done an amazing work in this woman's life. I am blessed by her story.
The most evil ideas can charm millions. Raised by a godly mother, Hansi quickly fell under Hitler's spell. She gives all she is to promote his evil. When it all falls apart, Hansi must rebuild her shattered world. She finds rest and peace in the eternal truth in Jesus Christ.
Aug 28, 2008 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've got an old, ratted copy of this book that I've read probably a dozen time since childhood. It's hard to find and a remarkable story. I've reflected on Maria's life and the terror she lived through numerous times. What a heroine.
Nov 15, 2007 Michelle rated it it was amazing
Moving story of a German girl who grows up in Hitler's youth groups, must flee from the invading Russians, and find her way alone out of war-torn Germany. We watch her begin to understand the horror of Nazism and find the love of God. I read this a teenager and have never forgotten it.
Aug 26, 2015 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My grandma gave this book to me and told me "it was one of the best books I have ever read." While I thoroughly enjoyed it, it wouldn't venture to say it was the best book I have ever read. A beautiful story of an inexplicably difficult childhood and the redeeming grace of Jesus Christ.
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