“A particularly unpleasant occurrence“
This is how Joseph Goebbels described Mischlinge. It is also the title of the book I’m writing about my Mischling Oma’s life in Nazi Berlin.
According to the 1935 Nuremberg Laws, a child born to one Jewish and one ‘Aryan’ parent was called a Mischling. The term can be translated into English as something like ‘mongrel’ – essentially a derogatory term for a ‘mixed’ child. There were different levels of Mischlinge, depending, for example, on whether the child was active in the Jewish community, or had been baptised, or on whether the mother or father was the Jewish parent. My Oma (my mum’s mum), Susanne Schwarz, was categorised as a Mischling ersten Grades – a ‘first degree’ Mischling.
- Jeanne & Ernst Part 1: StaatenlosI’ve been planning today’s blog for a long time. I want to tell the story of ‘Aunty’ Jeanne, a woman whose World War 2 experience has always fascinated me, but it feels like there’s so much I don’t know. Jeanne and her husband didn’t have children – like many other … More Jeanne & Ernst Part 1: Staatenlos
- Small acts of kindnessDoing this research is hard. Reading my Oma’s diaries and memoirs can be pretty depressing, and the more I learn about the whole period, the bleaker it seems. My family – although temporarily exempted from the mass deportations of Jews – lived under harsh restrictions, with increasingly meagre food rations … More Small acts of kindness
- Onkel FritzJanuary 27th is Holocaust Memorial Day in the UK – in 2020 it marks 75 years to the day since Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Nazi’s largest concentration camp, was liberated. The theme for this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day is ♯StandTogether and the organisers are encouraging people to take part online, by sharing … More Onkel Fritz
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