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Stella : One Woman's True Tale of Evil,…

Stella : One Woman's True Tale of Evil, Betrayal, and Survival in Hitler's… (1992)

by Peter Wyden

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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True story of a Jewish woman who was a "catcher" in WWII Berlin, hunting Jews
  Folkshul | Jan 15, 2011 |
A biography/memoir of World War II. Peter Wyden, a German Jewish boy, moved to America before the dark curtain of Nazism spread over Europe. One of his German Jewish classmates, Stella Goldschlag, became infamous when she was "turned" by the Gestapo. In exchange for the Nazis not shipping her and her parents off to Auschwitz, she helped them catch Jews hiding in Berlin. She was responsible for hundreds, maybe thousands of arrests and subsequent murders. In just one weekend, she helped the Gestapo apprehend 62 Jews. Interspersed with Stella's story are details about Peter Wyden growing up in Germany and the US, and his military service during World War II.

Stella was a truly fascinating character to me, and it's clear that Wyden shared my interest. Although he learned a lot of details about her life, interviewed people who knew her, and interviewed Stella herself, he never really figured out what made her tick and why she became a traitor when so many other Jews chose to die rather than cooperate with the Germans.

Bonus detail: after this book was written, in 1994, Stella committed suicide by jumping from her apartment window. She was 72 years old.

Additional bonus detail: I believe Stella is mentioned, although not by name, in Cornelia Edvardson's memoir Burned Child Seeks Fire. She mentions a blonde, beautiful Jewish Nazi collaborator who feels guilty about turning in her fellow Jews but does it so her parents will not be killed. That sounds very much like Stella, and Edvardson's book is set in Berlin which was Stella's stomping ground. ( )
2 vote meggyweg | Apr 1, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Peter Wydenprimary authorall editionscalculated
Strasmann, IlseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It is neither easy nor agreeable to dredge this abyss of viciousness, and yet I think it needs to be done, because what could be perpetrated yesterday could be attempted again tomorrow, could overwhelm us and our children.

--Primo Levi
The Drowned and the Saved (1988)
For Helen

If she hadn't been so foresighted
about Hitler, I wouldn't be here.
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Stella's daughter is a public health nurse in Israel, nearly fifty, wiry, tense, alert to hints of danger in the wind, like a doe.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0671673610, Hardcover)

In all of Holocaust literature there has never been another book like this: Haunting, deeply personal, as exciting as a spy novel, it is a non-fiction Sophie's Choice. Stella Goldschlag was blond, beautiful, and seductive, but she was also Jewish, and in World War II Germany, that could be fatal. But somehow she was transformed into a tool of the Gestapo, a collaborator in Hitler's "Final Solution". Now one of her childhood friends finds out how, and why. 16 pages of photos.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:31 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Biography of Stella Goldschlag, a beautiful, blond German Jew, who became part of the Gestapo during World War II.

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