Memoirs of a Hitler Refugee-by-Hannah Naiditch-Cover-Image

Holocaust Remembrance Day

On January 27, 1945, the Russian troops liberated the 7,000 remaining prisoners of the Auschwitz concentration camp. We now commemorate the 27th of each January as Holocaust Remembrance Day. The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust assigns a relevant theme to the day. For 2018 the theme is Vision – The Power of Words. This theme highlights words. Both spoken & written, words can have an immense impact, good or bad.

Today we are spotlighting an author who understood not only the power but the necessity of words and freedom of speech; Hannah Naiditch.

Author Spotlight: Hannah NaiditchMemoirs-of-a-Hitler-Refugee-Book-Cover-Image

Memoirs of a Hitler Refugee

  1. Who is Hannah Naiditch?
  2. What is Memoirs of a Hitler Refugee about?
  3. What are other people saying?

Who is Hannah Naiditch?

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Hannah with her younger brother, Johann

Hannah Naiditch is the author of Memoirs of a Hitler Refugee

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Portrait of Hannah drawn by refugee at Oxford

Hideaway Books store is a result of her dedication to research & knowledge…

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Hannah and Sam Naiditch (husband/love of her life)

She was Miya’s grandmother.

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Hannah with her 1st granddaughter, Miya

 

It’s impossible to sum up a person in a few sentences, especially a person who lived as rich a life as Hannah. In her memoirs, there is a quote that sums up her essence. She writes, “Only in America did I hear this very questionable wisdom that if you want to keep a friendship, don’t talk politics and don’t talk about religion. But then, what’s left but small talk?”

Whether it’s between friends, at an ACLU meeting, or in an Op-Ed piece, Hannah had no time for small talk. Instead, she dove undaunted into the issues that mattered most. Being direct and vocal will lead to many enemies and many admirers. Her approach has resulted in her being called an “America basher”, a “bleeding heart liberal”, and a “communist”.

Winston Churchill said,

You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life”

What is the book about?

Memoirs of a Hitler Refugee covers Hannah’s entire life which she breaks up into three distinct periods. Her early childhood in Vienna during the 1920s and 1930s, which she calls her “age of innocence”, makes up the first period. The second period focuses on her life as it was shattered by the Nazi’s presence in Austria. Hannah, her mother, and her younger brother secured passage out of Vienna just a few months after Hitler’s occupation. They left Austria through its last open border taking them into Italy where the three would be separated for decades. The last thing she remembered seeing were the,” huge red nightmare Nazi flags with their black swastikas.” Hannah escaped to London, and years later, the United States. Her life in the U.S. marks the third period. This is both the final & longest section of the book. We are taken on Hannah’s journey as she became a wife, mother, an avid student, teacher, and ‘outspoken’ political activist.

The book concludes with 67 diverse opinion pieces. They tackle many social issues like gun control, drugs, religion, and current events. Miya and I read the opinion pieces on road trips and use them as a basis for spirited discussions. Hannah would love the fact that her Op-Ed pieces still spark vigorous debate.

What other people are saying?

Howard Zinn: “Hannah Naiditch’s columns are excellent. They are strong, honest, and eloquent.”

Noam Chomsky: 

“Wonderful opinion pieces”.

Ed Asner:

“Hannah Naiditch is an event. A little old lady who has been boiled down to the purest essence of strength and intelligence. Any who choose to tilt in logic and reason with her, had best rethink their fatal flaw. She will always enlighten and reward any listener. Heed and grow.”

Lee H. Roloff, Ph. D.:

“The memoirs of Hannah Naiditch represent an important page in our cultural history. Writing form the perspective of a richly lived professional and personal life, she documents the tragedy of a despotic time and the triumph of a personal spirit. What she shares of her life must not be forgotten, or, poignantly misremembered. She has the capacity of putting into perspective the crisis of the mid-twentieth century.

Hannah Naiditch is a survivor, but more, she has retained the vision necessary to overcome sentimentality for the portraiture of displacement and dislocation. Her story is a remarkable one and worthy of a greater public”


Although I never had the chance to meet Hannah Naiditch, I see her as a fearless firebrand. She’s a reminder that each one of us can change the world. – Adam

Hannah’s book has not only inspired our business but also impacted our relationship. Reading her Op-Ed pieces & the important issues they address, led to many meaningful discussions. These talks are some of our happiest memories because they ultimately strengthened our bond & attraction for each other.


Powerful stories stick with you long after you’ve read the last page. Who’s story has been the most impactful in your life, and why?

Is there a Biography or Memoir you feel is a must-read? Let us know in the comments.