Before deportation: letters from a mother to her daughters, January 1939-December 1942

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Northwestern University Press, May 26, 1999 - Biography & Autobiography - 86 pages
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In 1939, Hertha Feiner sent her two daughters, Inge, age eleven, and Marion, age fourteen, to Switzerland to escape the tightening Nazi vise in Berlin. This book compiles fifty-seven of the letters Feiner sent to her daughters between 1939 and 1942.While Feiner was Jewish, her daughters' father, Johannes Asmus, was not and because of this he was able to arrange for his daughters' transfer to a Swiss boarding school in 1939. Feiner's letters track her efforts to maintain a bond with her children and to advise them as best she can, given the circumstances. As her situation becomes more dire, Feiner believes that in order to avoid deportation, at least one of her daughters has to return to Berlin to live with her. Her letters become more and more desperate, and she begs one of them to move home. Perhaps because of the intervention of Asmus and the girls' headmaster, Feiner's pleas go unanswered.A touching record of a mother's hope and despair, this memoir is both painful to read and impossibleto put down.

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About the author (1999)

Jahnke is a professor of German history at Heinrich Heine University in Dusseldorf.

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