Tainted Blood?: Memoirs of a Part-Jewish Girl in the Third Reich 1933-1945

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Margaret Baacke, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 488 pages
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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.
 

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This is an unusual autobiography in that few people who experienced the Hitler Youth could write about their experiences and understandably so! In their innocence and youthfulness, theirs was the same experience as someone who might join the boy scouts or girl scouts. The similarity ends there. When Dr. Baacke and her brother were tossed out of the Hitler Youth because of the "degree" of their Jewish blood, they were devastated in a way few of us will ever experience. They were taught to believe in the inferiority of Jewishness, then told that they were the very thing that they had been told to despise. Dr. Baacke weaves for us a story of the devastation of war, the hopefulness of youth in the midst of such devastation, and a lesson which we as a world should never forget. 

Contents

Double Birth and Hyperinflation in Germany 1923
1
Fathers Pride and Frustration
10
Christening 1924
13
Kaiser Allee
15
Family Fun
20
Games Sports Books Birthdays
25
Elementary School for Girls 19301934
33
Elementary School for Boys 19301934
41
Foot Problems
246
Mothers Day
256
Moms Easter Visit
261
Housekeeping
268
My Farm Work
270
Inspection
279
Uphill Downhill 1943
283
Liesels Return from Berlin
288

Political Events 19301934
45
Königin LuiseSchule and Some Teachers 19341939
53
The Olympic Games in Berlin 1936
63
My Way into the Hitler Jugend Hitler Youth May 1936
67
Heimabende Home Evenings
78
Sports Activities Summer Solstice
88
Camps and Trips 1936
91
Altenhof on Lake Werbellin Easter 1937
97
Leadership School Karwe May June and August 1938
104
Back in Berlin
111
The Verdict Friday October 14 1938
114
No More Hitler Youth October 1938
122
Kristallnacht or ReichsKristallnacht Night of Broken Glass November 9 1938
127
Father and the Nazis
134
Euthanasia 1939
140
Confirmation March 19 1939
146
Spiritism
151
End Königin LuiseSchule 19391940
161
Business School 1939 1940
164
Blitzkrieg in Poland September 1 29 1939 and France May 10 June 4 1940
166
Attempts on Hitlers Life November 8 1939
172
My First Job 1939 1941
175
Two Dates and a Lost Chance
179
Night School
189
My Last Day at Home
195
On the Way to the Labor Service for Women April 1943
199
First Day in the RAD
203
ATough Beginning
209
Photos
213
An Uncommon Breakfast
235
My Sprained Ankle Waltraut in the Pigsty
239
The Bombing of Hamburg July 1943
292
Christas Loss and Our Luck
298
The Unexpected
301
Goodbye Labor Service RAD Hello War Auxiliary Service KHD
307
Kriegshilfdienst KHD War Auxiliary Service
311
KHD Scarlet Fever 1944
320
Recuperation in the Alps 1944
333
Mandated Work 1944
339
Dommelkeim East Prussia 1944 1945
345
Tragedy Strikes
350
Two Memorable Letters
355
Mother Zischers Visit
358
The Aftermath of Loss and Pain 1944
360
Last Months in Dommelkeim 1944
365
Visit in Stablacken 1944
379
Christmas in Dommelkeim 1944
390
Christmas in Berlin 1945
394
Trip toTaplacken on Christmas Day 1944
397
Getting Ready to Leave Dommelkeim January 22 1945
402
On the Way to the Harbor January 1945
406
Onboard The Steuben January 1945
409
Greifswald and Hamburg
417
Wittingen Near Hanover March May 1945
422
The American Troops in Wittingen
432
Peace in Wittingen May 34 1945
437
Conclusion
446
Poems and Songs
448
Songs
456
Addendum in alphabetical order
462
Bibliography
471
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