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Nazi Officer's Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust / Edition 1

Nazi Officer's Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust / Edition 1

4.4 218
by Edith Hahn Beer

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ISBN-10: 068817776X

ISBN-13: 2900688177767

Pub. Date: 10/28/2000

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

Edith Hahn was an outspoken young woman studying law in Vienna when the Gestapo forced Edith and her mother into a ghetto, issuing them papers branded with a "J." Soon, Edith was taken away to a labor camp, and though she convinced Nazi officials to spare her mother, when she returned home, her mother had been deported. Knowing she would become a hunted woman, Edith


Edith Hahn was an outspoken young woman studying law in Vienna when the Gestapo forced Edith and her mother into a ghetto, issuing them papers branded with a "J." Soon, Edith was taken away to a labor camp, and though she convinced Nazi officials to spare her mother, when she returned home, her mother had been deported. Knowing she would become a hunted woman, Edith tore the yellow star from her clothing and went underground, scavenging for food and searching each night for a safe place to sleep. Her boyfriend, Pepi, proved too terrified to help her, but a Christian friend was not: With the woman's identity papers in hand, Edith fled to Munich. There she met Werner Vetter, a Nazi party member who fell in love with her. And despite her protests and even her eventual confession that she was Jewish, he married her and kept her identity secret. In vivid, wrenching detail, Edith recalls a life of constant, almost paralyzing fear. She tells of German officials who casually questioned the lineage of her parents; of how, when giving birth to her daughter, she refused all painkillers, afraid that in an altered state of mind she might reveal her past; and of how, after her husband was captured by the Russians and sent to Siberia, Edith was bombed out of her house and had to hide in a closet with her daughter while drunken Russians soldiers raped women on the street. Yet despite the risk it posed to her life, Edith Hahn created a remarkable collective record of survival: She saved every set of real and falsified papers, letters she received from her lost love, Pepi, and photographs she managed to take inside labor camps. On exhibit at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., these hundreds of documents form the fabric of an epic story--complex, troubling, and ultimately triumphant.

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HarperCollins Publishers
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Harper Perennial
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Nazi Officer's Wife 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 218 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am 12 years old and i have an astonishing knowledge of the Holocaust and i have researched it for a few years now. I know that i may seem young but I am never to young to have a thrist for knowledge. This is an inspiring story of Edith Hahn Beer, or should i say,Grete. She is a normal person in Europe in the 40's. Until they come. The nazi's start to take over her life, hope and dreams. She is sent to a camp where she faces horrible things but continues to go on with a positive attitude in life. Until she gets out . The Nazi's are still continuing the horrid deportations and she does it. She befriends the nazis and gets a new identity, a pass to freedom,a pass to love and a pass to life. But then an officer for the Nazi Party falls in love with her and begs her to become his wife! It is a wonderful book of love, hate, freindship and life's troubles that we face.
sadie_leona More than 1 year ago
I really thought that this would have been a story about a poor Jewish woman saved by a sympathizing Nazi officer - they would fall in love and he would save her and they would live happily ever after, as if the war didn't happen.

Not so!

(Warning, Spoiler-ish) I VERY good book. It his a different insight to the Holocaust. I only wish that there would have been more about the later years in her life, with her second husband, Beer. This takes some time to read. The pages are thin and packed full of information. I usually read fast - a book or so every other day, but this one took me about a week and a half. I kept re-reading to REALLY connect the dots and get everything I could from it.
vampire_Bill More than 1 year ago
You just can't put the book down. You can see and feel everything the author is writing and thinking. The strength and chaos she had to endure not knowing how her family was. The constant fear, not knowing if the German's would realize she was a Jew. Her account really put's things into perspective and the constant propaganda that was thrown their way.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a story of a woman who escaped the Nazis in an unusual way-she married one. I find this story different because of the chutzpah of her family-and her life-long love for her nitwit half Jewish boyfriend. Then to ice the cake, when her German step-daughter became an adult, she preferred her Jewish mother over her real parents. I am used to reading and hearing about Jews who survived camps. It's refreshing to read about how one person managed to slip through the cracks. My friends get become happy when I tell them about Edith's sister, an English officer, telling some German officers to shut up and answer her questions, when she was interrogating them in North Africa. I find myself intrigued by Jewish life in Vienna. I find it amazing how Edith Hahn Beer travelled throughout post-war Germany trying to find lost relatives. She faced hostility from Germans because she was a Jew, hostility from the Russians because she was Austrian, and hostility from Jews because she had escaped the camps. I find it amazing that while she was a German judge in post-war Germany that she could have such wisdom tempered with compassion. Before she slipped through the cracks of the Nazi death machine, she was forced to do stoop labor on a German farm, and she was so ill-fed, her menses stopped from malnutrition. This story gives us a glimpse of what civilization lost because of the Holocaust. Edith never seemed to lose her courage whether it was speaking up to a Russian officer, whose rage was deflected because he was also Jewish or in confronting a barracks full of recently released male concentration camp inmates.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was so moving. I couldn't put it down. I have read many accounts of the Holocaust, but this was by far the most gripping.
Guest More than 1 year ago
You cant really put a review on someones life. But, you can put a review on a book. This book is emotional and what gets me every time I read it is that someone really went through this great sadness yet triumph.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is an amazing story. The middle of the book when she hooks up with Werner is great, but personally... I hate that man! How could he be 'madly in love' with her, and then come home from the war and act like a self-centered prat? He literaly threw her out on her bum and said 'all that matters is me myself and I.' I loved this book but the ending was kinda upsetting.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Read this book over a few days, investing only a few hours as I just couldn't put it down. I could imagine myself in her position as she told her story, it flowed that easily..... A well written read that I would highly recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was very insightful,it allows the reader to have a look into the life of a survivor. How she over came so many challanges and terrifing situations. There are some pictures in the end of the book. 231 pages
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great book! Couldn't put it down. Its amazing what she went through. Talk about a survivor!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book in about 24 hours, unable to put it down even to eat. There are many books to read, but this is a book you will read and never forget.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is one of the best biographies of stores from survivers.It tells us not all got caught,they did not all get put into camps.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a captivating story of survival that reached epic proportions that stirred sympathetic emotions in me throughout the read. Edith Hahn, an Austrian Jewish woman survived as she did, outside the concentration camps with a formidable strength and will to survive that amazed me, staring the enemy straight in the eyes under the false identity of a Aryan German.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The story of survival of Edith is amazing. You will not be able to put this book down. This is for anyone that is even remotely interested in World War II and the Holocaust. A story of courage, survival, love, suffering, and compassion. You will be surprised at the compassion that is shown by some of the most unlikely people. A new view on the suffering of the Jews and POW's during WW2. A wonderful read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Edith Hahn Beer's story is one of the best memoirs about the Holocaust period that I have read. I am not certain how many other Jews had a similar experience during WWII but her poignant voice makes you feel as if you are there with her as she recounts her experiences. This is a definite must read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read,'The Nazi Officer's Wife' because I have two high school age children that were required to read it. It was one of the most fasinating books I have ever read. Edith Hahn's journey and survival it truly a triumph of the human spirit. I highly recommend reading this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has become a favorite! It was amazing, I felt like I was right next to Edith the whole time. I was instantly thrown into the book as soon as I read the first chapter. Anyone who loves autobiography books (like myself) has to add this to their collection!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This very emotionally shocking account of the author's life as a young Jewish woman during early part of WWII when Hitler's army was taking possession of major European countries. She was Austrian and her father and other Jewish families refused to leave Austria while they had a chance. They believed that Hitler would be stopped long before the war actually ended. By the time his army marched into Austria, it was too late for them to escape. Very interesting, very realistic account of how the Jews were treated, even those who weren't sent to the death camps.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book will remain in my mind and heart forever. The author's story was compelling, but the writing style and candor is what set this book part. I could 'see' through the author's eyes and into her heart. I could not put this book down. This book should be required reading for every history class.

As the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, I have encountered a variety of people with different accounts, this one is by far the most unique and has provoked new thoughts about the subject.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book and learning about the situation of this woman.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a completely different look at how a woman survived the Holocaust. It is about a woman who survived not even knowing what was actually happening to her fellow Jews. It was interesting to read about how she went on day to day through this terrible time, and even how Arians lived during this period also.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is an easy read. I was at first dissappointed as the author seemed to write so simply. I was expecting a more colorful read but quickly changed my.attitude when I learned that this book was translated. I also changed my attitude because there doesnt need to be any extra in the author's accounts. There.doesnt need to be any extra fluff around a story so raw and so intense. I could not stop reading. I am so grateful Edith shared this story!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If this true story hasn't already been made into a movie, it should be! Edith's tale of survival is harrowing and gripping. I couldn't put it down. Her descriptions of life before and after the Nazi regime are clearly presented.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The stories told in this book will teach you want it truly means to live and to die. A beautifully written account of a life lived in Germany during WWII.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very interesting story. Well worth your time and money