The Nazi Officer's Wife Summary & Study Guide

Edith H. Beer
This Study Guide consists of approximately 26 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Nazi Officer's Wife.
This section contains 453 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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The Nazi Officer's Wife Summary & Study Guide Description

The Nazi Officer's Wife Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion on The Nazi Officer's Wife by Edith H. Beer.

“The Nazi Officer’s Wife” by Edith H. Beer and Susan Dworkin is the true story of Edith Hahn Beer who was a young Jewish woman in Vienna, Austria, during the German invasion of World War II. Edith was a brilliant student who loved school and learning. She read voraciously and did so well in elementary school that her teachers recommended to her father that she go on to high school – something that was rare in Austria in the 1920s. Edith was an outstanding student and went on to university and law school which, for an Austrian girl during the time, was virtually unheard of.

But there were ominous signs of change in Vienna that free-spirits like Edith didn’t readily see. It began with Austrian authorities requiring all Jews to register with the government. This requirement was a precursor of worse things to come. Edith faced the reality of what she and other Jews were facing when she appeared at her university for her final exam that would earn her a law degree. She was bluntly told that she was no longer welcome at the university. When the Nazis invaded, things went from bad to worse.

The city that Edith had loved and lived in all her life with the family she adored had become occupied with strident and unrelenting forces that were tasked with hunting down Jews. Jews were made to wear yellow cloth patches sewn onto their outer clothes to identify them as Jews. This public humiliation escalated to fear of incarceration and ultimately to real life and death peril. Before the invasion, Edith had fallen in love with a young man named Pepi. He had “Aryan” papers that kept him safe. After the Nazis took over the city, Edith’s family was separated and Edith found herself alone and in great jeopardy. Pepi would not leave the city with her, so Edith left on her own. She eventually wound up in a farm camp where she toiled from sunrise to sunset without hope and little to eat.

Eventually, Edith made contact with an influential woman who literally saved her life. The woman, Maria Niederall, was a Nazi, but a Nazi with a kind heart. She arranged for Edith to be given false documentation that identified her as an Aryan Christian named Grete. She used that identity during the remainder of the war, living among Nazis and evening marrying one. She nearly lost herself in that identity but when the war ended, the real Edith was able to re-emerge. Her false identity allowed her to avoid incarceration and certain death at a concentration camp and finally live proudly as the brilliant and educated Jewish woman she really was.

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This section contains 453 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Nazi Officer's Wife Study Guide
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