Press

DIVIDED LIVES


Dec 14, 2000
The Cincinnati Post, East Neighbors, p4.

Agony of German 'half-breeds' focus of professor's new book
Hamilton native writes about survival, hope
By Len Penix
Post staff reporter

Hitler's henchmen called them mischlinge, the children of Jewish and Christian marriages, and the consequences of this dire label were persecution, torture and death.

Cynthia Crane, an assistant English professor at Raymond Walters College, has written a book about their struggles during Hitler's reign.

Her own family's persecution in Nazi Germany inspired her to write "Divided Lives," published this month by St. Martin's Press.

"My father was considered a mischling; it means half-breed," she said.

Actually, her father, like many labeled mischlinge, was not the product of a "mixed marriage." However, because his father's last name was a traditionally Jewish surname, it made no difference to the Nazi party.

"My grandfather's last name was Cohn, and he was considered Jewish because of that last name. He was not Jewish, but someone in his past was, so he was considered Jewish.

"My grandmother was considered Aryan and Austrian because she was a blond with blue eyes. Therefore, my father was a 'half-breed,' according to Hitler. Hitler's policies considered Jews a race. If you had a blood line, or any connection to the Jews in the past, or if your name was considered Jewish, you were treated as Jewish whether you were or not."

A native of Hamilton, Ms. Crane earned her undergraduate degree from Wittenberg University, her master's from Xavier and doctorate from the University of Cincinnati.

Ms. Crane said her book "is about love and family and...about survival and hope."

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