Thursday, February 24, 2011

13 Books Down: The Nazi Officer's Wife

So thanks to my awesome friend, I received a new Holocaust related book: The Nazi Officer's Wife by Edith Hahn Beer as part of a belated b-day package. I really enjoyed this book.

Edith's perspective was fantastic. This was not a book about bitterness or elicit duplicity. Instead it was about eduction. In many ways, this was the best book about the holocaust that I've read. I loved how she took the time to really show how Vienna Jews were different from regular Jews, how there was Anti-Semiticism, and just taking the time to really say, 'you have to understand, this was the way it was.' Plus I enjoyed how she took the time to be introspective in the middle of the narrative.

Now her story was a little bit different the most of the holocaust stories that I've read before. Edith went to work on a farm and then a paper factory before and was only in a ghetto when she failed to check in after her family (her mom) was relocated to Poland, and then through the help of a friend she was able to emigrate to Munich while passing for an Aryan. Then the story develops into how she married a Nazi.

One of the interesting bits about the story was that her Nazi husband wasn't the love of her life especially before the war. In many ways, they lucked into the relationship. Through her fear and inability to really show who she was, they had a very happy life together. But for the better part of everything, Edith loved Pepi. She used the hope of marrying him to gather strength. Unfortunately he didn't have the strength to really be there for her.

I love how this story just completely works. When you read autobiographies, you get the braggarts, the liars, and the true personality of a person. When I read Edith's story, I was so happy. It just seemed so genuine and the placing of ideas in time was just so helpful.

Thanks so much to my friend for sending me this book. It made me so happy.

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