The Nazi Officer’s Wife is an autobiography written by Edith Hahn Beer. It’s about her experience as a Jewish women during the Nazi regime and WWII. Coming from Vienna, she ended up being sent to a labour camp before fleeing when they released her and living in a place called Brandenburg. From there, she forged a new but fake identity for herself and she met a man. He didn’t know she was a Jew at first but wanted to marry her anyhow when he did find out.
I can’t even imagine what it must be like having to hide her true identity when surrounded by people who hated Jews and probably wouldn’t care if she were dead. She had to live like that for years. It must have been so traumatizing — in fact, judging by the course her life took throughout her autobiography, it was incredibly traumatizing.
Honestly, it also never even occurred to me that some people had managed to hide in plain site during the Nazi regime. I can see how it must have been incredibly difficult because in order to do so, Edith had to obtain a fake identity that would appear real, which wasn’t easy.
Another thing I kept wondering about as I read was if the man she married, Werner Vetter, was really a sociopath or had delusions of some kind. He seemed to be really preoccupied with having power / authority and also with being able to defy the rules, lie convincingly, and be so charming as to convince people of just about anything. But alas, no matter what kind of person he is/was, he still saved Edith’s life.
This book is amazing because it is a different perspective of the World War II era that I have never been exposed to before and it made an even bigger impact because it was an autobiography, kind of like The Diary of Anne Frank, versus a work of fiction based on historical truth. I have read a few books about life in France during World War II like The Nightingale and All the Light We Cannot See, I also read The Diary of Anne Frank, as well as movies about the allied armies, such as War Horse and Pearl Harbor, and I know a lot about the history from a religious and historical perspective – including what happened to the Jews during the war, the overall history, as well as things such as India’s involvement.
If anyone else has suggestions about books written in WWII, please feel free to comment and suggest them to me, I’d love to read more about the era.
Title: The Nazi Officer’s Wife
Author: Edith Hahn Beer
Publication date: September 22, 1999
Publisher: Rob Weibach Books
Genre: Autobiography, memoir, history, world war II
Page count: 305