20th Century Germany Quotes

Quotes tagged as "20th-century-germany" (showing 1-18 of 18)
“Berta, whose boyfriend had walked so far to see her, went out without her star and was immediately arrested and sent to a concentration camp.”
Edith Hahn Beer, The Nazi Officer's Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust

“You will ask how I felt about spending so much time with people who supported the Hitler regime. I will tell you that, since I had absolutely no choice in the matter, I no longer dared to think about it. To be in Germany at that time, pretending to be an Aryan, meant that you automatically socialized with Nazis. To me, they were all Nazis, whether they belonged to the party or not. For me to have made distinctions at that time—to say Hilde was a “good” Nazi and the registrar was a “bad” Nazi—would have been silly and dangerous, because the good ones could turn you in as easily and capriciously as the bad ones could save your life.”
Edith Hahn Beer, The Nazi Officer's Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust

“In the morning, real nurses taught us the rudiments of anatomy and instructed us in the preparation of dressings and bandages. But then in the afternoon, representatives of the Frauenschaft, the women’s auxiliary of the Nazi Party, came to instruct us in our real mission: to boost the morale of the wounded and spread the propaganda of German invincibility. “You must make sure that every single soldier in your care knows that, despite the cowardly British air attack last May, the Cologne cathedral is still standing,” said the sturdy, uniformed instructor. “You must also tell everyone that there has been no bombing in the Rhineland. Am I clear?” “Yes, ma’am,” we all said. In fact, the Rhineland was being crushed by Allied air attacks.”
Edith Hahn Beer, The Nazi Officer's Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust

“On occasion, Frau Mertens, looking clean and fresh, would walk out into the fields to see how things were going. She had a colonial largesse about her. By way of greeting, she said “Heil Hitler” to us, with a smile. We would straightened up from the muddy earth and stare at her. No one said a word. She seemed disappointed.”
Edith Hahn Beer, The Nazi Officer's Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust

“The high-strung Frieda made the mistake of telling Frau Fleschner that she had a toothache. She was taken to a dentist. He pulled ten of her teeth! After one day, they put her back in the fields, spitting blood. She was twenty-one years old.”
Edith Hahn Beer, The Nazi Officer's Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust

“When Frieda, Trude, Lucy, and I walked to work, the German children hooted at us: “Jewish swine!” In town, the shopkeepers would not even sell us a beer. I wrote to Mama that Osterburg was a friendly town.”
Edith Hahn Beer, The Nazi Officer's Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust

“I could not make the war seem real for myself. Even though I had heard about the Nazi bombing of cities in Spain, I couldn’t imagine an air attack on unarmed civilians. Remember, there were still horses on the roads of rural Germany at that time. Very few people understood what modern war would be like.”
Edith Hahn Beer, The Nazi Officer's Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust

“The farmers had grown proud and haughty. They ate better than anyone else in Germany now. And, like Volkswagen and Siemens, they had slaves. All they had to do was feed the local Nazi power elite, and they could have all the slaves they wanted.”
Edith Hahn Beer, The Nazi Officer's Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust

“Around four o’clock, when our bosses were having tea, the forewoman bumped me with her bony hip. This was a sign that she would take over for fifteen minutes while I went on a break. Every day she gave one of us a break like that. There was no more “reason” for her kindness than for the cruelty of the camp commander who had slapped Trude. It was the individuals who made their own rules in this situation. No one forced them to behave in an unkind manner. The opportunity to act decently toward us was always available to them. Only the tiniest number of them ever used it.”
Edith Hahn Beer, The Nazi Officer's Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust

“Being sick never worked as an excuse at the asparagus plantation at Osterburg. For example, the pregnant girl wanted to go home. She cried and pleaded. The doctor declared her fit for work. She willfully threw up in the fields every morning. An official from the work department, stuffed into his Nazi uniform, finally gave her permission to leave, but not for home—for Poland.”
Edith Hahn Beer, The Nazi Officer's Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust

“We heard that girls who had left to get married were being deported with their husbands. A girl who had a love affair with a French prisoner was sent to a concentration camp, and the Frenchman was executed.”
Edith Hahn Beer, The Nazi Officer's Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust

“Regularly the police posted notices to alert us to some activity, previously considered normal, which had now become a crime. Going to a dance hall, attending the cinema, drinking a beer in a café—all became crimes for us Jews. And the worst crime of all, said Frau Fleschner, pointing to the notice, was Rassenschande, racial disgrace—specifically, sexual relations between Germans and Jews. You could go to jail for that, she said.”
Edith Hahn Beer, The Nazi Officer's Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust

“By 1940, Arado had 8,000 workers; by 1944 it had 9,500. Almost thirty-five percent were foreign-born. You may ask why the Nazis would allow so many foreigners to work in a high-security company. I tell you, I really believe it was because Hitler insisted that Aryan women must be protected breeding machines whose major task was to stay home and have babies.”
Edith Hahn Beer, The Nazi Officer's Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust

“We heard that the Americans and the British encouraged mothers to work in the war industries, that they provided child care and paid high wages to a highly motivated, patriotic workforce. But the Führer rejected this idea. German women received extra rations, even medals of honor, for breeding profusely.”
Edith Hahn Beer, The Nazi Officer's Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust

“It quickly became apparent that the Germans were interested in using our strength but not in preserving it. We received a ration of “flower coffee”—made not from coffee beans but from flowers, or maybe acorns. We each had half a loaf of bread, which had to last us from Sunday to Wednesday. At midday, we had a cold soup made from broken asparagus that couldn’t be sold, or a mustard soup with potatoes, and maybe a hard-boiled egg. At night, we had a milk soup; on lucky days, it contained some oatmeal.”
Edith Hahn Beer, The Nazi Officer's Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust

“IN A MATTER of a little more than a year, I had gone from being the most despised creature in the Third Reich—a hunted Jewish slave girl dodging a transport to Poland—to being one of its most valued citizens, a breeding Aryan housewife. People treated me with concern and respect. If they only knew who I had been! If they only knew whose new life I was breeding!”
Edith Hahn Beer, The Nazi Officer's Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust

“We told each other every funny story we could think of. One of them stays in my mind. A German citizen wants to commit suicide. He tries to hang himself, but the rope is of such a poor quality that it breaks. He tries to drown himself, but the percentage of wood in the fabric of his pants is so high that he floats on the surface like a raft. Finally he starves to death from eating official government rations.”
Edith Hahn Beer, The Nazi Officer's Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust

“We haven’t heard from you yet, Frau Vetter,” said the commandant. “Oh yes … yes … I was supposed to call you, that number …” I fumbled in my bag. “I wonder if I still have it …” Did I really imagine that I could convince him I had misplaced his number the way I had “lost” my Nazi Red Cross pin? “The number is on your desk,” he said with a smile. “Ah. Yes. In my office.” “No. Not that desk. The antique desk with the brass fittings and feet like the claws of a lion, the desk you have in your apartment.” In my mind’s ear, I heard the fiend Goebbels laughing.”
Edith Hahn Beer, The Nazi Officer's Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust