Trudi Miller lived in a beautiful building in Vienna. The ground floor was occupied by a large luxury store. The other three were each divided into two apartments. Trudi rented both apartments on the first floor. The one overlooking the Kohlmarkt was her home, the one at the back her business. She had a hat salon with adjoining workrooms and catered to the best dressed women. She often flew to Paris to see the latest fashions, her affluent parents lived nearby and she was engaged to a handsome businessman who regularly sent her red roses. Trudi was a lovely, vivacious young woman and life was very, very good. But Trudi and her family were Jews and this was March, 1938. It took Hitler only one week to invade Austria and occupy it.
This memoir by Trudi Miller Kanter was written in 1984, originally self-published and little read. It was re-discovered in 2011. It is the story of Trudi’s tenacious fight with bureaucracy to get her loved ones safely out of Austria, and it is so well written. Even though I knew that Trudi must have survived to write her memoir, I was completely caught up in the events. Her despair and terror and disbelief that this could be happening were so real. I just couldn’t put the book down. This book puts a face on the horror of the Nazi persecution of the Jews. I hope it finds a large readership this time around.
eGalley review Publication date 10.9.12