Four Girls From Berlin: A True Story of a Friendship That Defied the Holocaust

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John Wiley & Sons, Aug 3, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 241 pages
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A pair of silver Regency candlesticks.

Pieces of well-worn family jewelry.

More than a thousand documents, letters, and photographs

Lotte Meyerhoff's best friends risked their lives in Nazi Germany to safeguard these and other treasured heirlooms and mementos from her family and return them to her after the war. The Holocaust had left Lotte the lone survivor of her family, and these precious objects gave her back a crucial piece of her past. Four Girls from Berlin vividly recreates that past and tells the story of Lotte and her courageous non-Jewish friends Ilonka, Erica, and Ursula as they lived under the shadow of Hitler in Berlin.

Written by Lotte's daughter, Marianne, this powerful memoir celebrates the unseverable bonds of friendship and a rich family legacy the Holocaust could not destroy.

"What a delightful book, and important, too. It gives us the courage and inspiration to utterly reject the fatalistic idea that fratricide, polemic, and enmity between Christians and Jews is inevitable and unchangeable. Finally, it reminds us never to forget or fail to appreciate those forces of light that bear witness to, and instill hope for, mankind and our world."
—Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, President, International Fellowship of Christians and Jews

"Four Girls From Berlin is an evocative story of friendship, challenged in the most sinister environment. For Christians, it echoes the words of Jesus, 'greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for his friends.' The friendship of these four women, three Christians and a Jew, speaks of a greater humanity that in the face of the Nazi horror could not be broken. I strongly recommend men and women of all faiths to learn from it."
—The Venerable Lyle Dennen, Archdeacon, London, England

 

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Four girls from Berlin: a true story of a friendship that defied the Holocaust

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Over the past decade, an increasingly common genre of Holocaust memoirs is that in which the children of survivors integrate their own personal stories with a reconstruction of their parents ... Read full review

Contents

Prologue
1
Glimpses of a Shattered Past
3
The Past Disinterred
19
Benny and Daddy
39
Hands across the Holocaust
71
A Tale of Til
95
Erica in Berlin
101
Lottes Love
127
Rena
139
London
155
Renas Class and the Voyage of the St Louis
167
A New Direction
181
Wiedersehen Not Goodbye
197
The Family Namgalies
205
An Interview with Jochen
213
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Marianne Meyerhoff is a writer, director, and producer of both television and feature films. She worked with Steven Spielberg as an interviewer for the Shoah Foundation's oral history project, Survivors of the Shoah.

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