Vox Populi

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Video: The Nazi Officer’s Wife

The Nazi Officer’s Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust is a 1999 autobiography by Austrian-born Edith Hahn-Beer. The documentary film included here is based on the autobiography; it stars Hahn-Beer herself and was released in 2003.

Running time: One hour, 37 minutes (feature film)

Email subscribers may click on the title of this post to watch the film.

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.

Edith Hahn-Beer (1914-2009)

6 comments on “Video: The Nazi Officer’s Wife

  1. Stephanie
    March 4, 2021

    This is such a remarkable story! Thank you for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

  2. allisonfine
    January 17, 2021

    Yes, we are right be afraid. But we cannot turn away.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. allisonfine
    January 16, 2021

    correction: this story IS NOT DONE.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. allisonfine
    January 16, 2021

    Thank you for posting this. I come from a Jewish family on both sides. I grew up with children whose parents were Holocaust survivors. Many of our Sunday School teachers were survivors. Growing up Jewish in the 50’s, the deep shadow of the Holocaust hung over all of us. This story is done, I am afraid, as I watch events happening in our nation’s capital.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vox Populi
      January 17, 2021

      Thanks, Allison. Many of us are afraid of the rightwing takeover of this country.

      Liked by 2 people

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