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Nazi's "ideal baby" was actually Jewish

Thursday, July 10, 2014 - 01:46

Hessy Taft was literally the poster child of Aryan beauty before World War II. Taft is also Jewish and tells her story. Elly Park reports.

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Hessy Taft was just 6 months old in 1935, when this photograph was taken. At the time she lived in Berlin, Germany and was chosen as the perfect Aryan baby for a Nazi family magazine -- except that she is Jewish. SOUNDBITE: Hessy Taft, saying (English) "The Propaganda Ministry of Hitler's government, had authorized a contest for a perfect Aryan baby. And they went to the ten best photographers in Germany and asked them to submit their ten best pictures." The photographer, Hans Ballin, knew exactly what he was doing when he submitted this picture. SOUNDBITE: Hessy Taft, saying (English) "He told my mother, 'You see I slipped your baby in with my pictures.' And my mother said to him, 'But you know that this is a Jewish child.' He said, 'Yes I know.' For all my life, I remember the quote my mother has said, 'I want to allow myself the pleasure of this joke.'" What started as a sly joke became a terrifying nightmare for the family. Scared for their lives Taft's parents made sure that nobody would ever find out about the truth, until last month when she donated an original copy of the magazine to a Holocaust memorial in Israel. SOUNDBITE: Hessy Taft, saying (English) "The fact that the folly of the Nazi ideology is widely known now, by one example at least that I can contribute to, gives me a sense of satisfaction." So after all these years, it's indeed the 80-year-old who is having the last laugh.

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Nazi's "ideal baby" was actually Jewish

Thursday, July 10, 2014 - 01:46

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