Tainted Blood?: Memoirs of a Part-Jewish Girl in the Third Reich 1933-1945
This is no ordinary memoir. With amazing clarity, wit, and charm, retired Professor Baacke skillfully illustrates what life was like in Nazi Germany. ... Show synopsis This is no ordinary memoir. With amazing clarity, wit, and charm, retired Professor Baacke skillfully illustrates what life was like in Nazi Germany. From her own first hand experience, she shows the problems and hardships all German citizens experienced. The author and her twin brother entered the Hitler Youth at age 12, unaware that they were part Jewish--and were kicked out in 1938. After beng drafted to the Reich Labor Service for Women followed by the War Auxiliary Service for a total of twelve months she served as a 'staff helper' in a Luftwaffen Lazarett in East Prussia. In January 1945, she escaped the approaching Red Army with most of the patients. It was the Steuben's second and last rescue mission before she was torpedoed by a Russian submarine and sunk. Of the 5.200 people on board, mostly women and children, wounded soldiers and refugees, 4.500 drowned. After moving with the injured soldiers to different cities in search of a permanent place, they settled in Wittingen, a small town between Celle and Hanover. Here they experienced the peaceful take-over by the American Army on Friday, April l3th, 1945, almost a month before the end of the war. She shares not only her own personal and often horrific experiences but also those of family and friends. We see what a German soldier's life was like, through the letters and stories of her twin brother fighting at the Russian front. We learn about her father, a lawyer, who cleverly managed to get out of the Nazi party. Professor Baacke candidly depicts the terrorizing air raids with fire, phosphorus and explosive bombs. She also describes vividly the brain-injured and mutilated soldiers in her hospital. Yet this book is not depressing. She has interwoven stories of amazing strength, courage, and even joy. Lastly, she has inserted facts of recent history to paint for us an accurarate picture of the critical decades between 1923 and 1945. The reader walks away from this book with a deeper understanding of what life was like in Germany during the Nazi Regime. Reading this book empowers the readers to feel that they, too, can endure life's challenges and emerge unscathed in spirit.