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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This book deserves to be read, 5 Jan 2010
This review is from: Stella. (Paperback)
There may be one justifiable reason for not being able to finish a book such as this, namely the harrowing content. I edit newspapers for a living but you'd need a much, much more jaded palate than mine not to be engaged and appalled by the story.
A young Jewish woman is caught up in the horrors of Nazi Germany. Arrested by the Gestapo and fearful for her own and her parents' lives, she betrays a fellow Jew. The shock is not that she does so but that she then becomes a willing and enthusiastic `catcher', fingering hundreds (possibly even thousands) of her own people including some of her closest friends.
An astonishing tale of moral corruption, it isn't a work of fiction but about a genuine historical event. As our critic above notes, it wasn't written by Stella Goldschlag herself - just as well, given her capacity for self-delusion. The author, Peter Wyden, had been a classmate of the unattainable Stella. His family emigrated to the US and the adult Peter returned with the occupying American army.
Other schoolfriends weren't so lucky and Wyden made it his mission to find out more.
Remarkably Stella herself survived three war crimes trials and eked out her later years in Germany. Her parents had long since perished in the concentration camps, she had several failed marriages and her only daughter emigrated to Israel and disowned her. Having destroyed so many other people's lives and families, she finally destroyed her own. A few years after Wyden's book was published, she threw herself out of the window of her flat.
"Not a good read?" I despair.
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Stella. by Peter Wyden (Paperback - 28 Feb 2002)
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