What I’m Reading: The Nazi Officer’s Wife

I just finished up the audio book The Nazi Officer’s Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust by  Edith H. Beer and Susan Dworkin.  I have had a couple blog readers recommend this book so I finally got it through Audible.

I’d like to VERY much thank whoever has recommended this book to me.  I found the story well written and very interesting.  It is so hard for me to believe that people lived through this terror.

Here’s what Amazon had to say, 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.”

I appreciated hearing the story of this survivor.  I am so glad that she was brave enough and had the forethought needed to keep pictures and documents so that this awful time in history could be recorded and kept for future generations to see.

Amazon readers give the book 4.6 stars.  I totally agree.  I loved the audio book but noticed that the hard copy does have pictures that I would have appreciated seeing.  If you find WWII books interesting, grab this one.  You’ll be glad you did.

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6 thoughts on “What I’m Reading: The Nazi Officer’s Wife

  1. Janine Baker

    I read this a few months ago. I am just amazed at the things that had to be thought of to keep your self alive! I’m not convinced I would be as thoughtful/clever as she was. I too enjoyed it-just not sure I should term it as “enjoyed”. We have no clue in this era we live in what some of these people lived through. Even the people in this country on farms had sacrifices they made. I am just in awe of the bravery & fortitude that was required.

  2. Connie

    If you want another book recommendation, try ” The tea girl of Hummingbird Lane”, by Lisa See. This historical fiction novel is centered around a Chinese girl and what it was like growing up in a remote village in China. Her family’s life is centered around the harvesting of tea leaves. I just couldn’t put it down. It was a 7-day book, and I finished it in 3 days. Can’t recommend it enough.

  3. Nita Marsyla

    I, too, read the Nazi Officer’s Wife and found it fascinating. Unbelievable what those people had to do to survive.

    I’ve enjoyed reading your blogs, which my neighbor in Florida shared with me several months ago when you talked about going to La Crosse. We summer in Holmen.

    If it isn’t asking for family secrets, I’d love to know the thrift stores you go to. You come home with such interesting finds. And, no, you don’t have to worry that I’ll snatch some of those nifty furniture bargains you find. Fabrics?……………..Well, ………………. maybe. We are definitely planning on going to Decorah to visit the quilt shop down there.

    I’m absolutely amazed at all the things you do, sew, quilt, child care, long arm, read, raise African Violets (which I LOVE), and on and on it goes. You expend more energy in one day than I do in a week.

    Thanks for writing about all the interesting things you and your family do.

    Nita Marsyla

  4. Billie Kretzschmar

    I usually don’t read non fiction books, but I might give this one a try. Reading real life events can be hard for me. I usually stick to SciFi, Fantasy, and mysteries…..anything that is not likely to be real….grin.

  5. Jo Post author

    Everyone asks where my thrift stores are. There really are some all over NE Iowa. I go in Decorah, Calmar, New Hampton, Charles City, Oelwein, Hopkington, Manchester. Cresco…plus the Goodwills around. There really isn’t one spot. The key is going EVERY time I’m in the town. So often people stop and say I didn’t find anything…well I don’t ALWAYS find things either. I only tell about the days when I do.

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