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Some Girls, Some Hats and Hitler: A True Love Story Rediscovered

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  1,539 ratings  ·  280 reviews
The astonishing true journey of Trudi Kanter, an Austrian Jew, whose courage, resourcefulness, and perseverance kept both her and her beloved safe during the Nazi invasion is a rediscovered masterpiece.

In London, in 1984, Trudi Kanter's remarkable memoir was published by N. Spearman. Largely unread, it went out of print until it was re-discovered by a British editor in 201
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published October 9th 2012 by Scribner (first published 1984)
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3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,539 ratings  ·  280 reviews

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Dov Zeller
This is a hard book to review. How to entertain a question of 'value' when holding in one's hands a memoir of holocaust years written by a resourceful and fashion-conscious woman who manages to escape Vienna? It is not the deepest of books. It holds the reader at arms' length and insists on noticing so many 'mundane' things, which I think is part of what makes it an important piece of writing.

I have read so much about Viennese Jews who loved their city, though they were often excluded and treate
Aug 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is Trudi Kantor's story of escaping Vienna, Austria and living through the war years in London. Trudi was a fashionable young woman who owned a hat shop. She designed her own hats, often after visiting Paris to go to the fashion shows to see what was "in fashion" for hats. She loved her city; she loved fashion; and she loved Walter Ehrlich. She seems to have been separated from, but still great friends with, her first husband Pepi when the book starts. After she meets Walter and falls in lo ...more
May 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
JOY...READ. THIS. BOOK. If you want to understand what it was really like to live under the Nazis...not yet another fictional black and white account.

This is real.

The world of chic Vienna is so well conveyed and with charm and grace...elegant prose... and we see and imagine the life Trudi had..and it is fun to read. Yes. Fun.

Then, all gets turned around but instead of writers who use hindsight...we wee how Trudi fights back for her business and her family and people do help is remarkabl
Leigh Newman
Oct 10, 2012 rated it really liked it

Who doesn't love buried treasure, especially when it's of the literary variety? Part love story and part intimate history of the Nazis' 1938 arrival in Vienna, Some Girls, Some Hats and Hitler was originally released—and promptly forgotten—in 1984. Wandering through a bookshop a few years ago, a British editor discovered the out-of-print memoir and decided to republish it. What makes the book so instantly mesmerizing is Trudi Kanter herself, who fashioned sentences just the way she fashioned hat
Aug 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: austria, memoir, ww2
I loved this book and I hope it eventually gets the recognition it deserves among WWII memoirs. It's not written in any kind of lofty prose but it's accessible, eventful, and emotional. I also like that a large part of the story is centered in Vienna and the city itself remains a character throughout, always recalled while the author is trying to adjust elsewhere. There are so many stories from locations like occupied Paris and war-torn Germany but relatively few from Vienna, especially one told ...more
Sep 23, 2012 rated it liked it
The overall story is interesting but the writing style is horrible. Difficult to follow direction of thought as situations require interpretation that is not common knowledge in today's society and country. There is a lot if self promotion of author's sexual prowess and desirability. It didn't relate to the storyline, in most cases and seemed self congratulatory. At the same time, the author's "true love" tended toward vanity as well. She didn't trust him with fidelity and it seemed to almost be ...more
Jan 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: challenge-2013
The title grabbed me and then the story sucked me in. This was compelling, lyrical writing and very hard to put down. In the 1980s Trudi Kanter self-published the story of her escape from WWII Vienna with her husband Walter. The book then fell into obscurity. Thankfully, it was rediscovered and published by Scribner. From the introduction by Linda Grant:

"...There instinctive shrinking away from accounts of the war that did not treat it with the seriousness and solemnity of historians. T
Oct 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
If there is one character in literature who I keep being reminded of in my reading, it's Holly Golightly. Trudi (Ehrlich) Katnter could be the Holly Golightly of World War II survivalists. Her city is Vienna. Her talent is hat-making. Her writing style is delightful and big-eyed. She gets her man and sincerely loves him despite other suitors steadily popping up, she's insanely jealous, and her quick and resourceful mind and can-do attitude save the day countless times, and...she knows class.

Apr 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book seemed like it was told through journal entries as opposed to a straight novel, so it got/sounded disjointed at times. Even though it was hard to understand and connect with the characters, I still enjoyed the story. It was refreshing to read a Holocaust/WWII story with a happy ending.
Rhiannon Wyn
Aug 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Really excellent, a beautiful account of some of Europe's ugliest moments. An interesting perspective (fashionable, successful, upper class Jewish female) and additional complications (divorce, remarriage,suicide) make for a unique read.
Mar 31, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
"Some Girs, Some Hats and Hitler: A True Love Story". With a title like this, I really wanted to like this book. I found this story to be bland. It was a combination of a love story and a first person account of surviving the war, but it wasn't enough of either for me. It wasn't a compelling love story or a compelling war story. The story of a strong woman who is smart and determined to save her husband and her parents has the potential to be a great book, but this fell short in my opinion. I fo ...more
Adrianne Mathiowetz
Sep 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book has the kind of title that makes you want to give it another title; but it reads somewhere between Suite Française and A Moveable Feast. Beautiful memoir, with detailed descriptions of what fabulous velvet thing was worn and what bubbly concoction imbibed on moony summer nights, all without dripping with sentimentality. The details speak for themselves. And then, the war: with its accompanying urgency and anxiety, lives turned completely upside down. But still, we're back to details: ...more
Bev Walkling
On looking at the title and cover one might think this book is a work of fiction, but in actual fact it is a memoir that was originally independently published in 1984 and quickly went out of print and was forgotten. It was written by Trudi Kanter and published six years before her death. A young woman involved in the publishing industry had bought a copy in 1989 and carried it around with her for years until she reached a position where she was able to bring it out and suggest it be republished ...more
Jul 31, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to really like this book... I tried very hard to like it a lot.
I think the fact that I started this book and got to the third chapter , then switched to reading The Snow Child (got to third chapter), then switched to reading Terry Pratchet ( which I finished )then went back to 'some girls some hats' and read a couple more chapters ... then switched to The Two Week Wait ( which I absolutely devoured) then bought and read and enjoyed all of The book of tomorrow ... then reluctantly went b
Sofia Bergman
Sep 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was an amazing historical novel that I would recommend to anyone interested in the time period of WWII, it was such an intriguing book that brought me to tears after reading it. This story is about Trudy, a young woman in the fashion industry, living in Vienna, Austria. When the Nazis crossed into Austria a plan was made to leave for England. Through out the book the story explains her, a half Jew and her husband who was fully Jewish and their experience through these hard times and tr ...more
Jayne Furlong
May 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful memoir... To think this was written by a woman many decades after the actual events...The imagery is amazing! The attention to detail goes above and beyond basic description to literally paint a picture for the audience. Unlike most Holocaust memoirs, this one takes into account the culture people tried to hang on to and the beauty left in the world at the time of the greatest atrocities. The balance she strikes in her writing is stunning, and that alone makes this worth reading ...more
Sonia Reppe
Jan 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a memoir by a Jewish woman who was a hat designer/business owner in Vienna, and this is her story of surviving the war. Many times she and her husband and her parents were in peril. (Her husband was also Jewish). Her intelligence and determined spirit and talent for fashion (which got her jobs and visas) enabled her to survive. Of course there's always luck too, and the kindness of strangers. They went from Vienna to Prague to London; Hitler's attacks followed them. Fascinating and heart ...more
James Wallis
Another entry in the genre of We-were-having-a-lovely-time-then-the-Nazis-came-and-we-ran-away. Prose like lead.
Jul 17, 2017 rated it liked it
The author, Trudi Kanter, was born and lived in Vienna. In 1935, just as she met and fell in love with Walter Ehrlich, the Nazis invade.

This is a shorter book, but it's powerful. Trudi described her business, her family, and the fear as they try to leave the country. Her husband Walter is Jewish and while Trudi can get herself out of the country, Walter is not as easy. But she is determined. Either they both go, or neither will.

Some of the prose is a little jagged. It's her memoir and she's not
E.C. Diskin
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Proving once again that a title and a cover can sell...this was an impulse buy that I finally got to a couple of days ago...and I couldn't put it down! A memoir set in Vienna during Hilter's invasion, it's a story unlike others I've read and, amazingly, despite the horrors of that time, this book is such an inspiration. The setting alone was a draw. Having studied in Vienna years ago, I could relate to her love of that city. But more importantly, this young woman's resilience, determination, and ...more
Aug 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Jan 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Trudi Kanter's true life story in WWII Vienna, as Hitler's army steadily advances, is thoroughly delightful, at times horrifying and frightening, and immediately engrossing.

Her story instantly becomes a "love story" when she bumps into - at the start of chapter 1 - the man who will become her future husband, Walter Ehrlich. Their love affair is light and breezy, and Kanter, a Jewish woman, moves her narrative through sparkling and bubbly tales of dining out, dressing to the nines, and enjoying
"Some Girls, Some Hats and Hitler" is a poignant memoir written by Trudi Kant. It is unusual because the book was initially self-published in 1984, when Trudi was seventy-nine and it was not heard of again until it was re-released in 2012. It had become orphan book found in a London book shop by a university student, loaned out to friends who loved it, until nearly twenty years later when that student became an editor at a publishing house. Ursula Doyle "realized that I had an opportunity to bri ...more
Paul Pessolano
Oct 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
“Some Girls Some Hats and Hitler” by Trudi Kanter, published by Scribner.

Category – Autobiography/Memoir

Trudi Kanter penned her memoir of her flee from German occupation in 1984. She was living in London and her memoir was taken out of publication due to poor circulation. Her memoir was rediscovered in 2011 and now is available and should be of interest to anyone interested in the holocaust.

Trudi owned her own women’s hat company in Austria and was enjoying life. Her way of life was dashed with
Margaret Bozesky
I would give this book a 3.5. I enjoyed her writing style and learned from her story of survival. For example, I did not know England had internment camps.

Trudi's relationship with Pipi was more interesting and deeper than her relationship with her husband, Walter. Walter's physical traits were described many times, but he rarely came to life as a person. Yet, saving Walter dominated her thoughts and actions. It was unclear what Walter brought to the relationship.

I agree with other reviewers i
Stella Fouts
Jan 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I'm glad this book was rediscovered. It was originally published in 1982 in England and then disappeared. Trudi Kanter would have been in her late 70s when she wrote Some Girls, Some Hats and Hitler: A True Love Story since she was born in 1905. She had excellent recall of the fashions AND events that were taking place in the mid to late 30s in Vienna. Even though I knew she survived the Holocaust, that didn't diminish the level of suspense I felt as I read of Trudi's actions that saved her, her ...more
Linda Hart
Mar 22, 2014 rated it liked it
An interesting true account of a woman who escaped from Austria just after Hitler's invasion, but not particularly well written. I had to keep reminding myself that this was a memoir/journal, not written by an accomplished novelist. l found it difficult to really identify with the characters, especially the author who was a bit vain and too self congratulatory for my taste. I would like to have read more about the girls & the hat factory.
Jun 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
I am glad I read it. A real inside look at the fear people had to live with during the evil Nazi oppression & what it took a person to stay alive during WWII
Everyone should read this book. Read like a novel but. Is a biography of Trudi & her time during the war.
Sep 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A completely ordinary, yet absolutely extraordinary story of an everyday woman whose gumption was truly one to admire
Lesley Swanson
Had me on the first page. From the beginning you are interested in the characters. Unlike some books where it takes half a book just to introduce the characters.
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La Stamberga dei ...: Ragazze, cappelli e Hitler di Trudi Kanter 1 5 Sep 27, 2012 03:39AM  
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“After you died, I kept your wardrobe locked, with all your clothes inside, all your lovely ties. The scent of you. I sat inside this wardrobe when I missed you so much.” 2 likes
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