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Before Deportation: Letters from a Mother to Her Daughters, January 1939-December 1942by Hertha Feiner
Synopses & Reviews
In 1939, Hertha Feiner sent her daughters Inge and Marion to Switzerland to escape the tightening Nazi vise in Berlin. Before Deportation compiles fifty-seven letters Feiner sent her to daughters between 1939 and 1942.
While Feiner was Jewish, her daughters' father, Johannes Asmus, was not, and was able to arrange for the daughters' transfer to a Swiss boarding school. Feiner's letters track her tireless efforts to maintain a bond with her children and to advise them as best she can under the circumstances. Her tone ranges from caring to authoritarian, from factual to sentimental, from hopeful to impatient and sometimes desperate. As her situation becomes increasingly dire, Feiner believes that to avoid her deportation, at least one of her daughters has to return to Berlin to live with her. 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 impossible to put down.
About the Author
Hertha Feiner was born in Hamburg, Germany, in 1896. She committed suicide in 1943 while being transported to Auschwitz.
Karl Heinz Jahnke is a professor of German history at Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf.
Margot Bettauer Dembo has published seventeen translations and won the Goethe-Institut/Berlin Translator's Prize for 1994-95.
Table of Contents
1939: January 29 - December 27
1940: January 19 - November 16
1941: January 19 - December 29
1942: January 11 - December 17
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