LIfe and Love in Nazi Prague: Letters from an Occupied City
Author: Marie Bader (1886-1942), edited by Kate Ottevanger and Jan Lánícek
Prague, 1940-1942. The Nazi-occupied city is locked in a reign of terror under Reinhard Heydrich. The Jewish community experience increasing levels of persecution, as rumours start to swirl of deportation and an unknown, but widely feared, fate. Amidst the chaos and devastation, Marie Bader, a widow age 56, has found love again with a widower, her cousin Ernst Löwy. Ernst has fled to Greece and the two correspond in a series of deeply heartfelt letters which provide a unique perspective on this period of heightening tension and anguish for the Jewish community. The letters paint a vivid, moving and often dramatic picture of Jewish life in occupied Prague, the way Nazi persecution affected Marie, her increasingly strained family relationships, as well as the effect on the wider Jewish community whilst Heydrich, one of the key architects and executioners of the Holocaust and Reich Protector in Bohemia and Moravia, established the Theresienstadt ghetto and began to organise the deportation of Jews. Through this deeply personal and moving account, the realities of Jewish life in Heydrich's Prague are dramatically revealed.