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The Last Veit Simons from Berlin
Holocaust, Gender, and the End of the German-Jewish Bourgeoisie – Book Presentation (in German)
In their book Die letzten Berliner Veit Simons: Holocaust, Geschlecht und das Ende des deutsch-jüdischen Bürgertums (The Last Veit Simons from Berlin: Holocaust, Gender, and the End of the German-Jewish Bourgeoisie), historians Anna Hájková and Maria von der Heydt trace the lives of one of Berlin’s oldest and best-known Jewish families in a transnational story of class, gender, and sexuality.
Through the example of the last bourgeois Veit Simon, his non-Jewish wife, and their six children, the authors show how Nazi mass murder destroyed first the future prospects, then the social environment, the livelihoods, and ultimately their very existence. They range from the Jewish Council in Amsterdam to the drawing workshop in Theresienstadt, from going underground in Berlin to difficult new beginnings after the war. In particular, the story of the surviving daughter Etta, her special ability to adapt and survive in the horror of the ghetto, illustrates women’s options for action in genocide.
A cooperation with Hentrich & Hentrich Publishers