Thursday, November 1, 2007

Someone Named Eva - Joan M. Wolf

there were so many atrocities committed by the nazis, i wouldn't know where to start in naming them all. 'someone named eva' is the fictional account of milada, a czech girl from the town of lidice. in an act of revenge against the citizens of czechoslovakia, hitler razed the town of lidice, killed all the men and boys and sent the women and girls to work camps where most of them died. however, some of the girls were selected to go through the lebensborn born program which was developed to turn non-german 'aryan' children into good german citizens (read: nazis). basically, the kids were kidnapped from their family and brainwashed into believing in nazi ideals, they would start to believe they actually were german, and would be trained to speak only german, and to forget their mother-tongue. milada was one of the children from lidice selected for the lebensborn. she was renamed eva and adopted into a german family. this is a fascinating story of one of the lesser known events of wwii.

1 comment:

Kenneth said...

I'll tell you a poigniant story that involves not only the topic of this book, but also J.D. Salinger, whose words appear on each page of your blog.
Salinger was taken by the fate of the children of Lidice, but sadly. When a young man,he lived for a year in Vienna with a Jewish family that he adored and who had a young daughter. As he was returning home to New York, the Nazis invaded Austria.
After the war (during which Salinger witnessed the horrors of the camps) he told Hemingway that he was returning to Vienna to search out the family he had lived with years before. But Salinger never found them. To his shock, their neighbors told him that they had all perished in the camps.
In 1948, The New Yorker published a painful article entitled "The Children of Lidice" that relayed the massacre of the town's children as well as the fate of those who had been taken to Germany and Aryanized. When Salinger read the article, he took furious notes (that still survive in archives). Clearly, he held out hope that the daughter of his Austrian family might still be alive, kidnapped to Germany rather than slaughtered by the Nazis.
It's all very sad. Sometimes we think of these things as ancient history, far removed from our lives. But their effects live on, continually mutilating those they've touched in ways most of us can never fathom.
Thanks for the article. I thought you might appreciate the connection.