Customer Reviews


37 Reviews
5 star:
 (26)
4 star:
 (10)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Memoirs Of A Courageous "U-Boat" Survivor
Edith Hahn Beer is a Jewess, now living in Netanya Israel. In 1938, pro-Nazi Vienna, she was an intelligent, inquisitive law student, with an adventurous spirit. After Anschluss, the German's pressed the Austrian Jews for all their money and valuables in return for exit visas. Some families had to decide, because of a lack of funds, which of their children could leave for...
Published on 19 Feb. 2005 by Jana L. Perskie

versus
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrendous.
This book was not as described, condition was terrible! in fact it was only fit for the bin! I have thrown books away in better condition. It was dirty, yellowed & definitely not worth the price.
Published on 10 April 2013 by Lynn


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Memoirs Of A Courageous "U-Boat" Survivor, 19 Feb. 2005
Edith Hahn Beer is a Jewess, now living in Netanya Israel. In 1938, pro-Nazi Vienna, she was an intelligent, inquisitive law student, with an adventurous spirit. After Anschluss, the German's pressed the Austrian Jews for all their money and valuables in return for exit visas. Some families had to decide, because of a lack of funds, which of their children could leave for safer havens, and which were doomed to stay in Austria with their parents, and almost certain deportation. Edith's two sisters left the country, but she remained with her childhood friend and lover, Pepi, with the hope they would soon marry. She was sent to a labor camp in the north of Germany to do backbreaking farm work, 12 hours a day, six days a week. The motto of some of the Jewish laborers was, "Life is beautiful, and it begins tomorrow." Her mother was deported to the East while Edith was in Germany, helpless to assist or join her beloved parent. When she finally returned to Vienna, her home and family were gone. Her remaining friends, Jew and Gentile, with few exceptions, were afraid to assist her. A prewar friend, who also happened to be a doctor, and a Nazi Party bureaucrat, assisted Edith, and another gentile friend obtained copies of her own identity papers for her. Edith writes, "Our faces will be imprinted on the hearts of those who are kind to us, like a blessing."
So, she moved to Munich, in 1942, submerging her identity in the wartime Reich. Edith Hahn disappeared from the face of the earth and Grete Denner emerged to replace everything Edith had ever been. Grete was not only a new identity, she was a totally different woman; mild, meek, unassuming and uneducated - hard to pick out of a crowd. Thus began life as a "U-boat," submerged beneath the surface of society in Nazi Germany. She writes, "Now I am like Dante. I walk through hell, but I am not burning." Living in mortal fear, she found work as a nurses aide, and a room with a kind family. She met a handsome Aryan, Werner Vetter, who wooed her persistently. He continually pressured her to marry him. The ironies of her existence increased as the war progressed.
This is a powerful account of a person existing in a schizophrenic life, with constant fear of discovery, and almost no sense of identity. The isolation was devastating. One can only imagine Edith's survivor guilt, which most Holocaust survivors suffer from. Here she was living the "normal" life of a German Hausfrau, while millions of others, like her own mother, went to the camps and crematorium. She discusses this guilt frankly in the book. She was and is an extraordinarily brave woman. We are fortunate that, at great risk to her life, she kept a record of her survival and has chosen to share her inspiring story.
This intimate narrative is simply and intelligently written. Her tale is so gripping that it is almost impossible to put down. At times it does seem that truth is stranger than fiction. I highly recommend this autobiographical account of a woman's life in hell.
JANA
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful for History Teachers, 30 Nov. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Nazi Officer's Wife: How one Jewish woman survived the holocaust (Paperback)
I started to read this book as this year the students in my class seemed to be quite fascinated by the concept of Jewish people who managed to get false identification papers in order to survive in Nazi Germany. When I later read an extract to the class after telling them the basic story they were all enthralled. Interesting to see that the Aryan husband Werner Vetter is remarkably similar to Adolf Hitler in that he is a frustrated artist and also that he believes in the " Big Lie." Also since Edith Hahn lives the closeted life of a Nazi housewife, she is completely unaware of the Final Solution until 1944. I found this book a brilliant read in that it showed how heartbreaking it was for an intellectual woman to almost get her degree and then to have to deny her intelligence for so long. It was very moving when she finally is able to use her law degree for a short time to help others when the Russians arrive.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A story of survival, 9 Jun. 2005
By 
This review is from: The Nazi Officer's Wife: How one Jewish woman survived the holocaust (Paperback)
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.
The horrors of life for Jews during those holocaust years are vividly portrayed, allowing us to see the dark side of man that should not be allowed to haunt humanity. SURVIVAL IN AUSCHWITZ and DISCIPLES OF FORTUNE are other survival novels that bring us closer to what it must have been like for the powerless victims of the holocaust.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A STORY OF SURVIVAL DURING THE HOLOCAUST..., 3 July 2004
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This is an interesting work of non-fiction that, at times, reads as if it were a novel. Based upon the recollection of a secular Austrian Jew, a young woman named Edith Hahn, the book tells the reader her intriguing story. During the Holocaust, she went underground and fled to Germany. There, she met and fell in love with a member of the Nazi party whom she had told she was Jewish. He married her and kept her secret. In the waning days of the war, her husband was drafted into the German army and ended up a prisoner of war for a time. Upon his return, he found a crumbling German infra-structure, the Nazis out of favor, and his Jewish wife asserting herself as she really was, a well-educated, independent woman.
She tells a tale of sublimation of self in order to survive the rigors of the policies of Nazi Germany that were imposed upon Austria, her country and a land where anti-Semitism was rife. She tells a tale of sublimation of self in order to survive her marriage to a person whose views were so opposite her own. Though Edith loved her husband, she never felt free to be herself until the war was over. Hers is a story of immobilizing fear and survival. This is an intriguing perspective on the Holocaust from the voice of one who who was in a singular position during the latter half of the war, as she was a surviving Jew in Germany.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heartwrenching true story of a holocaust survivor, 25 Nov. 2013
By 
Marshall Lord (Whitehaven, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Nazi Officer's Wife: How one Jewish woman survived the holocaust (Paperback)
In "The Nazi officer's wife" Edith Hahn describes her story of the Holocaust and how she survived.

The author was an Austrian Jew who was studying law in Vienna when Nazi Germany took over the country in 1938. She had been studying law for nearly five years, but when she went in to register for her final exam she was told "You are no longer welcome in this University" because of her race.

One of Edith's sisters managed to escape to Britain and another to Israel, but Edith and her mother remained in Austria and were soon deprived of everything they had and evicted to the Ghetto. Edith was then sent to do six weeks of hard Labour on a farm. Believing that her mother would have grave difficulty with this, the author used all the skills she had acquired during her legal training to persuade them not to take her mother too. Unfortunately this turned out to be the ultimate phyrric victory: when she came back from the farm her mother had been deported to Poland. Edith tore off her Star of David and escaped to Munich with identity papers belonging to a friend, one of a number of people who helped her during that terrible time.

In Munich, while living as a "U Boat" (an expression for fugitives from the Nazi regime who survived by hiding under false identities "beneath the surface" of German society) she met a Nazi officer who fell in love with her. He married and protected her even after learning that she was jewish.

The book describes some of the insanities which Nazi law forced on those who were trying to survive under their rule and parts of the story would be extremely funny if they were not so terrible. It is full of stories - often messy ones - of how people survived oppression - first by the Nazis, but after the war, also by the Russian NKVD.

Some of the stories actually are quite funny - Edith's sister who had escaped to Britain became a translator for the British Army. When she was interrogating German soldiers they would sometimes ask her how an English woman, as they assumed her to be, spoke such good German, and she would reply "I am asking the questions now." Equally amusing is the story of how, trying to track down her mother after the fall of the Nazi regime, Edith went to a local records office with her real papers, as opposed to the fake ones she had used during the war, and found herself confronting the man who had conducted her wedding.

"You lied to me!" he spluttered.

"Yes, I certainly did."

"You falsified your racial records!"

"Right."

"This is a high crime against the state, what you did!"

"Well, I don't think you will find any attorney in Brandenburg to indict me for it now."

But although there are these few moments of black humour in Edith's story, many other elements of this book are truly hearbreaking. Examples include the author's desperate search after the war to find out what had happened to her mother, including an indescribably painful visit to a transit camp full of holocaust survivors who she was hoping might know something. And the manner in which both nazi and soviet regimes ripped children from their parents. Also painful is the description of the end of her marriage: the love between Edith and her husband had helped her to survive when he sheltered him, and may well have helped him to survive when she managed to get him released from a Soviet POW camp after the war. But sadly that love did not, on his side at least, survive the fact that their experiences had made them both different people, and they divorced in 1947.

This book is light years away from being a pleaseant read. But it tells a story which we all need to know more about in order to understand. And it includes elements of hope and humanity amid all the hate, murder, and despair.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, 22 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A truly remarkable read, so well written, a real page-turner. It is a remarkable account of the extraordinary survival skills of an amazing woman in extraordinary times. It conveys not only the brutality of the Nazi regime but also those examples of simple humanity that made a difference between life or death. What struck me most was how the Nazi propaganda machine worked on the people. It was over many years like a drop of water dripping on limestone. Eventually it wore people's humanity away. Ordinary people, became oblivious to other people's needs. The criminal and deadly view that the Jewish people , and many others, were subversive and the cause of Germany s economic and cultural downfall, was cultivated over many years. Could it happens again? Unfortunately it has in places as varied as Syria, Rwanda, Yugoslavia, northern Ireland, .....the list is endless. We must remember that it is so easy to rationalise wrong doings. We must never forget what happened here and thanks to Edith and many other survivors, we have been gifted with a historical account of what can happen when humanity takes a second seat to greed and prejudice.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing read !!, 5 Mar. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book must be read, this lady's unbelievable courage is humbling, I finished this book a couple of weeks ago and I still think about it you can't believe that anyone had to endure what she went through and also the good luck that helped her through this nightmare is amazing, if you have an interest in the holocaust like I do then you MUST read this book or if you just want to count your blessings and be thankful for everything you have. A truly amazing lady so grateful she shared her story with us.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart breaking yet Inspiring, 7 Mar. 2001
By 
Maxine Pipkin "Photo geek" (Nevada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Nazi Officer's Wife: How one Jewish woman survived the holocaust (Paperback)
A true recollection of a young Jewish girls life before and during the Second World War. Edith Hahn relives her story of living in an occupied country as a Nazi Officer's wife, while keeping her true identity hidden. The fear of being discover and the painful tragedy of losing her family is almost unbearable. Through pure luck, courage and the determination of the human spirit she is able to prevail. This heart-rendering account is a compelling must read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent autobiography of a fascinating and unique woman., 9 April 2001
By A Customer
A very readable book about an amazing woman. For anyone with any interest in humanity or history. The book does not dwell on the horrors of the period, but tells her incredible story simply and in her own words, often with humour and always with empathy.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unusual -and unforgettable., 1 Aug. 2012
This review is from: The Nazi Officer's Wife: How one Jewish woman survived the holocaust (Paperback)
This outstanding memoir of the war years in Germany is unique, and leaves an unforgettable impression. There is a vivid and powerful sense of reality to the narrative -there is the feeling that these extraordinary events only just happened.

The author has the natural gift of relating these events in such a way that the reader shares her experience, and you feel that this is how things really were. It appears that nothing has been varnished to suit the book.

This is an enthralling story of one brave and determined woman's dilemma in a heartbreaking situation, and I couldn't stop reading. Highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Nazi Officer's Wife: How one Jewish woman survived the holocaust
£11.38
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews