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The Children of Hammerstein - Essay Example

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The Children of Hammerstein The book The Silences of Hammerstein written by Hans Magnus Enzensberger is partly history, partly a novel. It revolves around the life of Kurt von Hammerstein who was the last commander of the German army just before Hitler took over…
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Download file to see previous pages The three daughters were often grouped together and called the ‘von Hammerstein Sisters’ but the truth was that even though they had their fair share of similarities, they had their own personalities and lived different lives. The main thing they had in common was their stand against Nazism. Till the 1920s in Berlin – the years when they finally came of age – they socialized greatly be it the gymnasium, university, the social and/or political movements and so on. Once the political upheaval rose to great heights, all of them helped the victims in their own ways, not worried about the risk they were taking of their lives by opposing the Weimar Republic and later the Third Reich. Maria Luise was the oldest daughter of the five children. She opposed Hitler by joining the German Communist Party in the late 1920s. In fact, whenever her father departed from the house, she would take the opportunity to go through this safe in hopes of finding documents with important information on them. She even told the Soviet Union about Hitler’s political and military plans which he informed to his generals in his secret speech. This made her a traitor to her country but her father was not against it. It was during this time period also that she had a relationship with Werner Scholem but later he was shot dead. Maira Luise decided to remain in her homeland for the duration of the war. It was at some point in the 1950s that she changed her residence to the German Democratic Republic. The second daughter was Maria Theresa and she was quite an activist. She was less ideologically at risk than her sisters but she did empathize with left wing views, especially the educated middle class Jewry. She alerted the Jews if they were in danger of being deported or arrested by extracting the necessary information from her father. She would move the Jews and some Germans to Prague and helped many of the marked to hide. She also brought materials such as newspapers to the Nazi community over there. Maria Theresa is lauded for saving innumerable Jews from extermination. She got married to a Jewish man in 1934. They travelled to Palestine but had to return and were cross examined a lot of times by the Gestapo. So, they went to exile in 1935 to Japan. Over there also, she was not safe but she managed to survive and had four children. After the war was over, they shifted to the United States of America. Helga von Hammerstein, like her eldest sister Maria Luise, was part of the German Communist Party. She helped out her sister in carrying out her parts. She had a relationship with one man called Leo Roth who lived a very dangerous live and was shot in a prison in 1936. Helga, along with her mother and youngest brother, was held in captivity by the Nazis for the duration of the last weeks of the War. They were first imprisoned at Buchenwald, then at Dachau, and then at South Tyrol. They were interrogated and asked the hiding place of her brother’s but they did not break. She remained in Germany during the length of the war. After the end of the war, they were given freedom by the Allied Forces in 1945 when they liberated the camps. Franz von Hammerstein was the first son. He was excused from the duty of working for the army due to medical reasons. He was the brother who was imprisoned and questioned by the Gestapo along with Helga and his mother. Later, he was also freed with them by the Allies. After the war ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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