Karyl's Reviews > The Nazi Officer's Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust

The Nazi Officer's Wife by Edith Hahn Beer
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's review
Aug 11, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2012, bookstore-finds, non-fiction, favorites
Read from August 11 to 12, 2012

I have read so many Holocaust stories, but I think this is probably my favorite. Edith Hahn was a bright young woman, growing up with her family in Vienna, and studying to become an Austrian judge. She was Jewish, but really in name only, as her parents weren't religious. But then the Germans invaded Austria. She watched her friends and family leaving, then being deported, and somehow she managed to stay one step ahead of the Nazis. And then, one day, she met Werner Vetter, a Nazi Party member who was eventually drafted and made into an officer. Somehow, crazily, Edith Hahn, a Jewess, was married to a Nazi officer.

This book is heart-breaking. In some ways, I think Hahn had it worse than those who had been deported to the concentration camps. They *knew* they were going to die, though they could fight it. The worst had already happened to them. But Hahn hid in Germany in plain sight. Her neighbors could denounce her at any time. Her overfilled ration book could give her away. Her life was so full of uncertainty, it's amazing she never gave up and never gave in. Once the war was over, she wasn't interested in meting out retribution; she simply wanted to be fair. What an amazing woman.

I cannot begin to imagine what writing about this all would do to a person after burying it for fifty years. But I am so glad she did. She mentions so many people in her story, some Jewish, some German, who gave her small kindnesses to allow her to survive. It reminds you that not all of the Germans were evil, that the Nazi government did an excellent job of hiding the truth and filling its citizens with lies and propaganda, that some decent humans still existed in that inhumane regime.

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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Kassie wasn't that a great book? Loved it.

Karyl Again with the commenting while I'm writing the review! Geez, lady, do you stalk my Goodreads?? ;)

Kassie I never leave it. Everywhere I go I constantly watch to see what you are doing. I'm like a book stalker. (kidding, just coincidence the last two times. Or is it? ;))

message 4: by Karyl (last edited Aug 12, 2012 11:08AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Karyl You stalker, you!! OK, now I'm done. And you are totally my favorite. Shhh, don't tell anyone. Now on to the last Flavia de Luce!

message 5: by Amy (new) - added it

Amy How else do we know about what books to read if we don't stalk our friends?

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