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Johanna Krause Twice Persecuted: Surviving in Nazi Germany and Communist East GermanyJohanna Krause Twice Persecuted: Surviving in Nazi Germany and Communist East Germany by Carolyn Gammon, and Christiane Hemker
Persecuted as a Jew, both under the Nazis and in post-war East Germany, Johanna Krause (1907-2001) courageously fought her way through life with searing humour and indomitable strength of character. Johanna Krause Twice Persecuted (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2007) is her story.

Born in Dresden into bitter poverty, Krause received little education and worked mostly in shops and factories. In 1933, when she came to the defense of a Jewish man being beaten by the brownshirts, Krause was jailed for “insulting the Führer.” After a secret wedding in 1935, she was arrested again with her husband, Max Krause, for breaking the law that forbade marriage between a Jew and an “Aryan.” In the years following, Johanna endured many atrocities—a forced abortion while eight months pregnant and subsequent sterilization, her incarceration in numerous prisons and concentration camps, including Ravensbrück, and a death march.

After the war, the Krauses took part enthusiastically in building the new socialist republic of East Germany—until 1958, when Johanna recognized a party official as a man who had tried to rape and kill her during the war. Thinking the communist party would punish the official, Joanna found out whose side the party was on and was subjected to anti-Semitic attacks. Both she and her husband were jailed and their business and belongings confiscated. After her release she lived as a persona non grata in East Germany, having been evicted from the communist party. It was only in the 1990s, after the reunification of Germany, that Johanna saw some justice.

Originally published as Zweimal Verfolgt, the book is the result of collaboration between Johanna Krause, Carolyn Gammon, and Christiane Hemker. Translated by Carolyn Gammon, Johanna Krause Twice Persecuted will be of interest to scholars of Ravensbrück, women's memoirs, World War II history, and the Holocaust. Born and raised in New Brunswick, Canada,Carolyn Gammon moved to Berlin in 1992. Her poetry, prose, and essays have appeared in anthologies in North America and Great Britain, and in translation. Christiane Hemker lived in various German cities before moving to Dresden in 1993. Her field is archaeology, in which she is widely published. Her volunteer work with union and social politics, focusing on women's rights, introduced her to Johanna Krause and her story.

See ISBN: 1-55458-006-4 ISBN13: 978-1-55458-006-4. If you are interested in organizing a book presentation of Twice Persecuted please contact the author directly: [email protected]

Carolyn Gammon[NOTE: I met both Johanna Krause and Carolyn Gammon (pictured right) in 1995 at the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Ravensbrück women's concentration camp. Johanna was perhaps the only Jewish survivor who had been living in East Germany after liberation, and attended this reunion. She was the only one I met, and I do not know of any others. Carolyn Gammon escorted Johanna to the reunion and helped me interview her. Her remarkable story is briefly told in my book, The Jewish Women of Ravensbrück Concentration Camp. Now, in this important new contribution to scholarship about Jewish women in the camp, we can read all of the details about Johanna's lfe as a German Jewish woman—about her courage and her struggles. I am pleased that Carolyn Gammon and Christiane Hemker have brought her story to English language readers. Rochelle G. Saidel]


The Remember the Women Institute welcomes reviews of books pertaining to women and history for our on-line library. Please contact Dr. Rochelle G. Saidel with your inquiries.

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