The Submergers by Albert Heppner, Max Amichai Heppner
A father’s story of escape and hiding from the Nazis
Escape and Hiding: Lessons from the Holocaust
In The Submergers, Max Amichai Heppner enables his father, Dr. Albert Heppner, to present his extraordinary perspective of Jewish life in German society. Albert Heppner grew up in Germany, graduated from the University of Berlin with a Ph.D. in 1924, and was an established and highly regarded art dealer in Berlin by 1933.
As Hitler’s control grew in Germany and then much of Europe, Albert was gradually pushed out of his business circles, academic circles, his homeland, and, eventually, society as a whole. In cogent detail, Albert relates his everyday life in Germany until the rise of Nazism; he contrasts this with having to navigate Nazism, first in Germany, and later, after fleeing to The Netherlands.
Feeling marginalized and then discarded, Albert describes his internal conflict with realistic and heart-breaking emotion as he is forced to live as a “submerger” with no identity, hidden away from the world on a remote farm in a corner of The Netherlands. He is painfully sensitive to the moral dilemmas faced by his family as well as his colleagues and friends.
His writing highlights the timeless lessons to be taken away from this difficult chapter of history. Albert Heppner speaks in an important voice that gives insight and wisdom that is totally relevant to our modern world.
Year first published: 2020