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Ich ging durchs Feuer und brannte nicht : eine außergewöhnliche Lebens-und Liebesgeschichte
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Ich ging durchs Feuer und brannte nicht : eine außergewöhnliche Lebens-und Liebesgeschichte

4.13  ·  Rating Details  ·  22,189 Ratings  ·  1,768 Reviews
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. Des ...more
Paperback, 333 pages
Published May 1st 2002 by Droemersche Verlagsanstalt Th. Knaur Nachf. (first published 1999)
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Terri Iacobucci It is one of the best books I've ever read. At times, I felt I was reading a suspense book, than I'd realize that the book is based on real life. The…moreIt is one of the best books I've ever read. At times, I felt I was reading a suspense book, than I'd realize that the book is based on real life. The author's storytelling style is engaging and heartwarming. Anyone a victim of circumstances, Edith shows a way to hang on, and even prevail. (less)
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This is a four star book. Recently another GR friend rated this with three stars, and to be honest, I was flabbergasted. "HOW CAN YOU NOT BE MOVED BY THIS BOOK?" zinged through my head?! I will try and explain without giving spoilers. First of all, if you are the kind of person, like me, that highly values straight talk, and talk that does not shy away from ANY subject - sex, love, cruelty, motherhood, lying, corruption, guilt and survival - then this is a book for you. Edith will s
Angela M
Nov 07, 2014 Angela M rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I have read a good number of books about the holocaust and most of them were novels. I keep reading them because they are gut wrenching and they keep reminding me that it's important for us to acknowledge and remember what happened in those concentration and death camps . Reading a memoir like this one, only reminds me all the more how horrific this history was and that this happened to real people.

This book is not about the concentration or death camps but it is about the courage and determinat
What makes this memoir of an Austrian Jewish woman relentlessly moving is the attention to detail, the sharp incisive nature of Hahn’s observations. These eloquently described details bring the narrative vividly to life. The title is slightly misleading and hints perhaps at a cinematic melodrama which does this book a disservice. Her husband was a painter, blind in one eye and thus spent most of the war working as a kind of foreman in a paint factory. Only when the Nazis were on the verge of def ...more
Michel Clasquin-Johnson
This is an incredible, true story. That doesn't give it a free pass as a book. To put it plainly, it is badly written. In fact it is not written at all, the spoken interview was committed directly to publishing. "I knew a girl. Her name was so-and-so. She had red hair. I liked her brother a lot." The red-haired girl is then never mentioned again while the brother only pops up again, and is finally named, fifty pages later. We all talk like this. But this is not how written text works. The book s ...more
Eva Leger
This 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 wh
Feb 05, 2010 Janet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Found on the history clearance cart at our local HPB, The Nazi Officer’s Wife was a surprise, weaving itself into the heart of my WW2 studies. Author Edith Hahn Beer’s personal story of survival remained untold for almost 50 years until encouragement from her daughter, born in a Nazi Germany hospital, inspired her to share the memories she’d long lived in silence with: “I did not discuss my life as a “U-boat,” a fugitive from the Gestapo living under a false identity beneath the surface of socie ...more
Athena Nagel
Oct 26, 2012 Athena Nagel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I have always been interested in books and stories from the Nazi era. Not because I find the topic entertaining - but because I believe it is important to understand the atrocities that existed. History tends to repeat itself - I think we need to do all that we can to avoid making mistakes that have been made in the past and this moment in history should never ever happen again. I had no clue what this story would be like but I wanted to read about the Nazi side of the events - how did things ge ...more
Nov 09, 2008 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 25, 2016 Cher rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookclub, memoir-bio
3.5 stars - It was really good.

An incredible story, but the memoir is written much like a spoken interview which could be detracting at times.
Favorite Quote: Every time you hurt somebody you care for, a crack appears in your relationship, a little weakening - and it stays there, dangerous, waiting for the next opportunity to open up and destroy everything.

First Sentence: After a while, there were no more onions.
My doctor wants to know why this year I have taken to reading books about the Holocaust.

I don't know. It's not the time period I'm usually interested in. I much prefer the Tudors. Yet, when I taught Anne Frank The Diary of a Young Girl earlier this year, I did some more reading, and haven't stopped for whatever reason.

Maybe it is because I'm P*ssed off at the Holocaust deniers. I don't know.

I picked this book up at an used bookstore. It is a different perspective on the Holocaust.

Yeah, I know t
I thought it would be a case of Stockholm Syndrome, but was pleasantly surprised. The author grew up in Vienna in the 1930s and while many of her family members saw the writing on the wall and managed to flee before the Nazi area closed itself, Edith and her mother remained for various reasons. The title is slightly misleading as the author does not really meet her husband until halfway through the book. Nevertheless, it's a very interesting memoir of how a Jewish girl managed to survive in Nazi ...more
Jordan Boone
Oct 26, 2011 Jordan Boone rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
This unique topic drew me in. The issues of the book really intrigued me. At first I thought it would just be about Edith Hahn Beer's life being married to a Nazi officer, but it delves much more into the Holocaust than that. This shows an unusual way one Jewish woman survived World War II.
Though the diction and sentence structure is relatively easy to read (despite the few German words woven into the sentences), I love how the book really engulfs you in the way the world was in the 1930s and 1
Jul 28, 2012 Goddess rated it it was amazing
Shelves: highlights
Ich habe es endlich übers Herz gebracht eine Rezi zu schreiben. Wahrscheinlich habe ich nur eine kleine Pause gebraucht um nach diesem Buch meine Gefühle wieder unter Kontrolle zu haben.

Das Cover finde ich wirklich sehr schön, obwohl es in diesem Buch um keine klassische "Liebesgeschichte" geht. Ich verstehe auch nicht warum man diese Lebensgeschichte als so etwas verkaufen zu versucht. Aber die Wege der Verleger sind unergründlich, sicher erhoffeten sie sich so mehr Käufer. Nun, trotz meiner e
Sep 05, 2015 Ram rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: holocaust
This is a different holocaust story.
Edith Hahn was not in concentration camps, ghettos, or fought with the partisans.
She was a forced laborer worker, went underground and managed to get fake papers. She got involved with a Nazi party member and married him and even had a child with him.

The story is good, It was interesting for me to read a story of the war that happened in Germany. From the stage she got her papers, she did not go hungry and had a comfortable life (compared to the vast majority
Nov 25, 2012 Marcia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Most people have heard of Anne Frank, the young Jewish girl who lived through most of WWII in an annex, hidden away from the world for a few years before being turned in and sentenced to her death in a concentration camp.

The question I had to ask myself after finishing "The Nazi Officer's Wife..." was, 'How have I not heard of this book before?' Why is it not on any reading list that I was given in my high school classes?

This book is a fantastic and beautiful story of a Jewish woman living thro
Nari (The Novel World)
May 21, 2008 Nari (The Novel World) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs, 2008
At the age of 27, and only one test away from achieving her law degree, Edith was turned away from her University due to the ridiculous rules set up by Hilter and the Reich. Edith and her mom are trapped in the slow and agonizing decline of Jewish civil rights as they lose their ability to sustain themselves. Edith is sent to work in various work camps for years, under the promise that while she works, her family will be kept safe from the concentration camps. Her boyfriend Pepi, is often a deta ...more
Jun 12, 2007 Laren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs, holocaust
The title is somewhat sensational. This is the story of a Jewish woman during WWII who spent time in work camps, then was able to adopt a false identity with the help of a friend, and ended up married to a man who was then drafted into Nazi officer service late in the war (he knew about her real identity before they married). Still, as the story develops, it is a fascinating read. A&E aired a special documentary on this story which I watched a few years ago. The book goes into much more deta ...more
May 08, 2010 Karin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: WW2 history buffs
Edith, an aspiring lawyer, does not leave Austria with her sister as the Nazis were coming into power. She is assigned by the nazi's to work on a farm as a sort of slave. When the growing season is over, instead of allowing her to return to her family, Edith is sent to a factory. She keeps hoping her boyfriend will marry her but he is under the thumb of his mother and can't seem to think for himself. Edith ends up going into hiding, using a gentile friend's name etc.- with permission, of course. ...more
Jan 16, 2011 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I first read about The Nazi Officer's Wife, I thought the premise seemed totally unplausible. Nevertheless, my Goodreads friend Chrissie convinced me to read the book. Once I started it, I was unable to put it down. Even after everything that's been said about the Holocaust, living in Skokie which has a large concentration of survivors, and going to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, this story had something new to teach me. I never knew that there were people who hid in plain sight in Ger ...more
Jul 13, 2015 Heidi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A gripping book that drops you into that world we all know about, yet know nothing about. Hahn tells her harrowing story, what she calls her "strange, miraculous past," without sentimentality, excuses or self-pity. She makes me think of Viktor Frankl's Man's "Search for Meaning," to this day the most hopeful song of praise to the human spirit and free choice in the face of evil that I have ever read.

Hahn emphasizes a maxim I've held dear for decades: "You can grow accustomed to anything." What
May 07, 2007 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This work is an autobiography of a woman, Edith Hahn, who survived in Austria and Germany during WWII. I read this book right after reading The Holocaust Industry, so I wonder if some of my reaction to the book was colored by some of the issues Finkelstein brought up.

The book was unusual - Hahn wasn't in a camp, and she wasn't in hiding in the way Anne Frank did. Instead, she managed to work the system, finding people to help her (often people who weren't family or close friends, and a lot of s
Jul 05, 2014 Carol rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There were some reviews critical to Edith's choices during her knife in Nazi Germany; however, until you have had to make those choices in a country turned against you, I would not make judgements. I thought her life was remarkable. I have read through many WWII stories about the Jewish experience, but this was real. Ms Beer tells her own story with the help of Ms Dworkin. The book reads like she is talking to you I.e. " you have to understand, in those days....". I thought it was well written a ...more
Sep 22, 2014 Ron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, ebook, memoir
A gripping first-person account of a Austrian Jew who came of age in Vienna on the eve of the Nazi takeover of her country, upending her world and killing most of her family. Her ultimate strategy to avoid detection provides the book’s title.

Great voice. The reader rides inside of Edith as she suffers the shock and degradation, then panic and rage as her world dissolves. Her desperate search to survive reminds us that each of the millions murdered by the Holocaust were individuals—as different f
Mar 24, 2014 Marialyce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent true story of the lengths some had to go through in order to stay alive in Nazi Germany. This woman's life was one of heroism, fear, and accomplishment. Who could condem such a woman for doing all she could to protect herself and eventually her child? This book certainly gave a new perspective on the intrepid ability of a Jewish woman to stay alive and survive the Holocaust.
Oct 22, 2014 Ana' rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This well written, unconventional memoir is about Edith’s survival of the Holocaust. I learned a lot despite my various reading on that subject. Edith explains and exposes the Nazi mentality through historical facts and everyone’s fate.

The term “U-Boat” was new to me. It referred to Jews who assumed a Nazi identity with false papers during the war. The adoption of this identity dominates Edith’s story and her survival experience. Edith becomes the wife of a Nazi officer who she met through a fr
May 03, 2015 ☮Karen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wwii, nonfiction
2.5 stars.
After a slow, rather bumpy first two-thirds of the book, with a lot of confusing characters thrown in and not-so-great-writing, the main character Edith Hahn finally meets the man who will make her his wife. I must say I felt misled by the title as she didn’t marry an officer, although he was a Nazi, and then they were a married couple for a very short time while he was an actual officer. That was when he got drafted and sent away, so they were not even living together. The book really
Feb 05, 2016 Donia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read many many books concerning the Jewish atrocities of the Second World War. This book is very different from all that I have encountered. When I finished reading it left me feeling strange and unsettled. Though I am extremely and I mean extremely sympathetic to victims of the holocaust, I found it difficult to like Edith about whom this book is written. Her behavior at times annoyed me but I have not walked in her shoes and may have made the choices she made were I in her situation. Ha ...more
Apr 25, 2015 Courtney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I just finished reading 'The Nazi Officer's Wife' last night and boy did I enjoy it! This book gets all 5 stars, an excellent read! If you are looking for a historical biography that is an easy read, but paints such a vivid picture of a horrid time in history - this is the book for you. Some biographies are so dry and tedious to read, not this one.

I felt like Edith and I were talking face-to-face throughout the book. She is an amazing role model to look up to. She went through so much, but neve
Clare Fraga
Mar 05, 2016 Clare Fraga rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Remarkable survival story! Such cruelty during times of war - what happens to our values?! And yet such acts of unselfish kindness and bravery by some. Great read! Would love to read a good book on the affects on the war on peoples psyche, values, family after the war.
Liz McLain
Jan 21, 2016 Liz McLain rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
Amazing - this story depicts a horrific time but it is well written and from a historical point of view refreshing. I'm so saddened that all that is depicted came to pass and hope stories like Edith's are talked about to prevent future tragedies.
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“I thought: Now I am like Dante. I walk through hell, but I am not burning.” 11 likes
“During that long terrible ride to Munich, I finally swallowed the bitter pill of my lover's rejection and poisoned myself with it. I murdered the personality I was born with and transformed myself from a butterfly back in into a caterpillar. That night I learned to seek the shadows, to prefer silence” 10 likes
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