Years of Defiance: The Herbert Baum Group and Jewish Resistance in Berlin

Charlotte Holzer

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I was trembling like a leaf. The bunker people surrounded me… they immediately knew… They told me that I looked pale as a corpse, as if it had already happened. And it became so extremely and bitterly hard for me. Because I’d seen the child, because I’d tasted freedom, because I could see that the war was nearing its end... When the Nazis took power in 1933, the initial wave of suppression targeted especially Jews and Communists. Charlotte Holzer was both—a nurse by training, she had tried to improve the working conditions at the city’s Jewish hospital, which led her to establish contacts with Communist activists. Following a chance encounter with Herbert Baum, Holzer joined his resistance group of young, left-leaning Jews. When an anti-Soviet propaganda exhibition opened in Berlin, the Baum Group organized and executed an arson attack. Although it caused only minor damage, the Nazis hunted down, tortured, and murdered most of the members of the group. Holzer managed to evade the initial wave of arrests and executions, survived imprisonment, and made a daring escape from a Nazi camp on the eve of her execution. Hiding under false identities until liberation, she was subsequently able to reunite with her daughter, and eventually remarried. In the 1960s, Charlotte Holzer told her story in a series of interviews with an East German journalist. It is published here for the first time. Years of Defiance is a unique account of an intrepid woman’s determination to survive and a tribute to the martyred heroes of Jewish resistance in the very heart of the Nazi empire.

Products specifications
Year 2022
ISBN 978-965-308-668-5
Size 16X24 cm.
Format Hard Cover
No. of Pages 320 pp.
Publisher Yad Vashem
Translator Translated from the German by William Templer
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