Her Hidden Life by V.S. Alexander
English | 2018 | General Fiction/Classics | ePUB | 3.1 MB
A forbidden love. A deadly secret. ‘An absorbing, well-researched story that brings to life an extraordinary period in history’ GILL PAUL, bestselling author of The Secret Wife It’s 1943 and Hitler’s Germany is a terrifying place to be.But Magda Ritter’s duty is the most dangerous of all… Assigned to The Berghof, Hitler’s mountain retreat, she must serve the Reich by becoming the Führer’s ‘Taster’ – a woman who checks his food for poison. Magda can see no way out of this hellish existence until she meets Karl, an SS officer who has formed an underground resistance group within Hitler’s inner circle. As their forbidden love grows, Magda and Karl see an opportunity to stop the atrocities of the madman leading their country. But in doing so, they risk their lives, their families and, above all, a love unlike either of them have ever known… Lose yourself in this sweeping, heroic love story fraught withdanger.
The year before, I had looked up at the sky when air-raid sirens sounded. I saw nothing except high clouds, streaming like white horses’ tails above me. The Allied bombs did little damage and we Germans thought we were safe. By the end of January 1943, my father suspected the prelude to a fiery rain of destruction had begun.
‘Magda, you should leave Berlin,’ he said at the onset of the bombing. ‘It’s too dangerous here. You can go to Uncle Willy’s in Berchtesgaden. You’ll be safe there.’ My mother agreed.
I wanted no part of their plan because I’d only once, as a child, met my aunt and uncle. Southern Germany seemed a thousand miles away. I loved Berlin and wanted to remain in the small apartment building where we lived in Horst-Wessel-Stadt. Our lives, and everything I’d ever known, were contained on one floor. I wanted to be normal; after all, the war was going well. That’s what the Reich told us.
Everyone in the Stadt believed the neighborhood would be bombed. Many industries lay nearby, including the brake factory where my father worked. One Allied bombing occurred on January 30 at eleven in the morning when Hermann Göring, the Reichsmarschall, gave a speech on the radio. The second occurred later in the day when the Propaganda Minister, Joseph Goebbels, spoke. The Allies had planned their attacks well. Both speeches were interrupted by the raids.
My father was at work for the first, but at home for the second. We had already decided we would gather in the basement during an air raid, along with Frau Horst, who lived on the top floor of our building. We were unaware in those early days what destruction the Allied bombers could wreak, the terrible devastation that could fall from the skies in whistling black clouds of bombs. Hitler said the German people would be protected from such terrors and we believed him. Even the boys I knew who fought in the Wehrmacht held that thought in their hearts. A feeling of destiny propelled us forward.