© 2000

Divided Lives

The Untold Stories of Jewish-Christian Women in Nazi Germany

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. The Spirit

    1. Cynthia Crane
      Pages 1-19
  3. The Law

    1. Cynthia Crane
      Pages 21-39
  4. Stories

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 41-42
    2. Cynthia Crane
      Pages 43-66
    3. Cynthia Crane
      Pages 67-102
    4. Cynthia Crane
      Pages 103-132
    5. Cynthia Crane
      Pages 133-168
    6. Cynthia Crane
      Pages 169-199
    7. Cynthia Crane
      Pages 201-228
    8. Cynthia Crane
      Pages 229-241
    9. Cynthia Crane
      Pages 243-268
    10. Cynthia Crane
      Pages 269-295
    11. Cynthia Crane
      Pages 297-341
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 343-372

About this book


This book brings together the horrifying real life stories of women who woke up one day and were not who they thought they were. The government changed and they suddenly no longer had the right kind of blood, the right name, the right family background, the right physical features to be considered a member of society, city, or state. These stories are from German women who were a part of a Jewish-Christian "mixed marriage" and were subsequently persecuted under the Nuremberg laws. Hitler called them "mischling"- half-breeds, however, they have often been passed over in studies of the Holocaust - perhaps because they are often not considered "real Jews." But these women are still struggling with the nightmares of the Third Reich and the Holocaust, the loss of family in concentration camps, and with their own identity-divided between their Jewish and Christian roots. Often their Jewish background was revealed to them only after Hitler's laws were passed. These are the narratives of eight women who remained in Germany, struggling to reclaim their German heritage and their cultural and religious identity. The narratives are compelling and sensitively written, addressing questions of cultural and ethnic identity.


Adolf Hitler empire Germany Holocaust identity Judaism Third Reich women

About the authors

CYNTHIA A. CRANE is Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the University of Cincinnati, USA.

Bibliographic information


Cynthia Crane's exploration of Jewish-Christian women resists simple

classification. It is at once a personal memoir of a scholar's intellectual

journey, an oral history, and a serious study of German women who

had been marginalized both by the Nazis and by previous scholars. She

writes of transgressions in the past and in the present as she and the other

interview participants grapple with the issues of identity, inclusion, and

exclusion .Crane's straightforward eloquent prose and thought-provoking yet subtle arguments make this book a delight to read. Lyra Totten-Naylor, NWSA Journal "...Crane's project is a welcome addition to such a timely and sensitive topic...." - Caroline Schaumann, German Studies Review

Divided Lives is a well-written, intelligent must-read. John E. Dolibois, US Ambassador

"...deeply human, nonconventional view of the Nazi time and of particular women's destinies. Opens new questions." -Agnieszka Holland, Director of Academy Award-Nominated "Europa, Europa" and "Angry Harvest"

Crane allows the voices of the victims to shape their own history, and therefore offers an important contribution to Holocaust studies. Marion Kaplan, Queens College, CUNY

I believe in personal testimonies as you do - they have no equal in their weight of truth and memory. Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Prize laureate

...the voices and stories she collects have not been heard in such detail before and are a welcome addition to Holocaust and Jewish studies. Publishers Weekly

Gives a voice to the neglected Mischlings (half-breeds) and provides a significant record of both wartime and postwar Germany. Kirkus Reviews