ACCOUNT RENDERED by Melita Maschmann


Email this review


Miss Maschmann terms this a dossier on her former self as a leader in the Hitler Youth movement's girls' division. It is a soul-searching record in which she attempts to state and understand her guilt as a Nazi. She addresses her account to a Jewish girl-friend of her youth whom she hasn't seen in 25 years and to whom she feels personally accountable. She became involved in the Hitler Youth against her parents' wishes when she was fifteen, in 1933. She rose to positions of high leadership and remained a loyal worker right to the end of the Third Reich. Her duties were mainly in the press and propaganda department for which she felt she had little aptitude. For two years she was in charge of the women's Labour Service in Poland and Germany. She dedicated her life to the State and her soul to Hitler. Only during the last months in Berlin, with the Allies hammering at the gate, did she lose faith. Following the war she was imprisoned for three years but remained adamantly Nazi. She and others, when told of the genocide of the Jews, thought it a propaganda trick. Not until the 1950's did she recant by free will, at which time questions of guilt began to obsess her. Amazingly, what she is really guilty of is an immoral innocence in not thinking for herself. But her account here is intelligent and convincing.

Pub Date: Feb. 26th, 1965
Publisher: Abelard-Schuman