#1 New York Times Bestseller
Edith Hahn was an outspoken young woman in Vienna when the Gestapo forced her into a ghetto and then into a slave 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. Despite Edith's protests and even her eventual confession that she was Jewish, he married her and kept her identity a secret.
In wrenching detail, Edith recalls a life of constant, almost paralyzing fear. She tells how German officials casually questioned the lineage of her parents; how during childbirth she refused all painkillers, afraid that in an altered state of mind she might reveal something of her past; and how, after her husband was captured by the Soviets, she was bombed out of her house and had to hide while drunken Russian soldiers raped women on the street.
Despite the risk it posed to her life, Edith created a remarkable record of survival. She saved every document, as well as photographs she took inside labor camps. Now part of the permanent collection at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., these hundreds of documents, several of which are included in this volume, form the fabric of a gripping new chapter in the history of the Holocaust—complex, troubling, and ultimately triumphant.
In the 1930s, Edith Hahn was studying law at university, in love with her boyfriend and living with her close-knit, nonobservant Jewish family in Vienna. Her idyllic life ended abruptly when the Nazis took over, and she was sent to a labor camp in Germany. After obtaining permission to return to Vienna and discovering that her mother was no longer there Edith went underground and lived in terror as a fugitive until a Christian friend let her use her papers to create a fake identity. Incredibly, a Nazi Party member fell in love with her and married her, even after she told him her true identity, and she spent the rest of the war pretending to be an ordinary German hausfrau.Audie Award winner Rosenblat gives a compelling performance in the first-person role of Edith. She narrates the story in a light Austrian accent, which lends a ring of authenticity to her reading. At times, Rosenblat seems to becomeEdith: sighing with regret over a lost love, chuckling over a girlhood prank, her voice filled with hatred as she speaks of the Nazis and with pure terror when she comes close to being discovered. Indeed, readers might easily forget that this absorbing narrative is a memoir, not a novel.
Beautifully account of time which would have been difficult to look back on - let alone share. Fantastic book
I have read many books on this subject and still cannot come to terms with the fact that these atrocities occurred only such a short time ago. This is the first book I have read of a Jewish survivor who managed to evade the concentration camps. You constantly have to remind yourself that this is non fiction, beautifully told. Memories of those lost will be kept alive with these beautiful stories.