Pages: 280 Size: 6x9
Illustrations: 18 black and white images
Incisively analyzing Herbermann, a nationalistic German Catholic, the Baers helpfully probe the political ambiguities, religious questions, and gender issues embedded in their distant relative's narrative. . .
— John K. Roth
On February 4, 1941, Nanda Herbermann, a German Catholic writer and editor, was arrested by the Gestapo in Münster, Germany. Accused of collaboration with the Catholic movement, Herbermann was deported to Ravensbrück Concentration Camp for Women in July 1941 and later released upon direct orders from Heinrich Himmler on March 19, 1943. Although she was instructed by the Gestapo not to reveal information about the camp, Herbermann soon began to record her memories of her experiences. The Blessed Abyss was originally published in German under the imprint of the Allied occupation forces in 1946, and it now appears in English for the first time. Hester Baer and Elizabeth Baer include an extensive introduction that situates Herbermann's work within current debates about gender and the Holocaust and provides historical and biographical information about Herbermann, Ravensbrück, and the Third Reich.
Elizabeth and Hester Baer show how valuable the gifts of expert translation, brilliant commentary, and careful annotation can be as they give new life to Nanda Herbermann's important but previously little-known 1946 memoir about her experience as a prisoner in Nazi Germany's concentration camp for women at Ravensbrück. Incisively analyzing Herbermann, a nationalistic German Catholic, the Baers helpfully probe the political ambiguities, religious questions, and gender issues embedded in their distant relative's narrative. . .
– John K. Roth, Claremont McKenna College