At the notorious Buchenwald concentration camp, communist prisoners organized resistance against the SS and even planned an uprising. They helped rescue a three-year-old Jewish boy, Stefan Jerzy Zweig, from certain death in the gas chambers. After the war, his story became a focus for the German Democratic Republic's celebration of its resistance to the Nazis.
Now Bill Niven tells the true story of Stefan Zweig: what actually happened to him in Buchenwald, how he was protected, and at what price. He explores the (mis)representation of Zweig's rescue in East Germany and what this reveals about that country's understanding of its Nazi past. Finally he looks at the telling of the Zweig rescue story since German unification: a story told in the GDR to praise communists has become a story used to condemn them.
Bill Niven is Professor of Contemporary German History at the Nottingham Trent University, UK.
Professor of Contemporary German Studies, Nottingham Trent University