WHITE FLAGS OF SURRENDER by Lili Hahn

WHITE FLAGS OF SURRENDER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Sounds familiar: the diary of an average citizen, a young woman's persecution under the Third Reich. As powerful as the classic Diary of a Young Girl? Well, not quite, but difficult to dismiss on its own terms. Because no matter how many times we've heard the story of Hitler's Germany, it doesn't cease to fascinate and horrify. Lili Hahn nee Schroeder, a young journalist, is denounced as ""an enemy of the state"" as early as 1935 for slanderous remarks about unwed mothers in the Labor Service. She is debarred from her profession and during her short term in prison, ""learns to hate."" Her diary fully chronicles Hitler's rise to power. And while Lili's maternal grandparents are Jewish, her parents observe the Jewish deportation with the equanimity of ""good Germans"" who believe that ""our Fuhrer does not want this."" As a climax in a series of humiliations and sacrifices, she enters into a brutal abusive sexual relationship with a Gestapo officer in return for a stay of her mother's execution. Lili and her intellectual comrades, distrustful now of all national politics and all flags, bitterly await the American liberators of their bombed-out starving cities. Reads like fiction. Still hard to accept.

Pub Date: June 10th, 1974
Publisher: Luce--dist. by McKay