Aunt Edith: The Jewish Heritage of a Catholic Saint

Aunt Edith: The Jewish Heritage of a Catholic Saint
ISBN: 0872432645

ISBN-13: 9780872432642

SECOND EDITION -- “It’s not every Jewish family that has a saint in their midst.” Susanne Batzdorff

The aunt is Edith Stein who was murdered at Auschwitz. The niece and author, Susanne Batzdorff, is an observant Jew who was a guest of honor at the October 1998 canonization ceremony in Rome declaring Edith Stein a saint of the Roman Catholic Church. Edith Stein, the proud daughter of a German Jewish family, was a brilliant scholar and the principal associate of Edmund Husserl, the father of phenomenology. After some years of agnosticism she startled her Jewish family in 1922 by becoming a Roman Catholic and startled them even more eleven years later when she became a cloistered Carmelite nun. The Nazis abducted her from her convent in the Netherlands in 1942 and sent her and her sister Rosa to the ovens of Auschwitz.

In Aunt Edith Susanne Batzdorff gives us an intimate and vivid portrait of her aunt in her formative years as well as the story of the extended Stein family and their various relationships of affection, reserve, disappointments, triumphs and joys. The book is also a loving memoir of a closely knit family facing the approaching horror of Nazi conquest and its consequent diaspora. Includes eight pages of family photos. This second edition contains two new chapters featuring details of St. Edith’s canonization and a complete translation of the letter released by the Vatican in February 2003 that Edith Stein wrote to Pope Pius XI expressing her burning concern about what was happening in Germany under the new Hitler regime in the spring of 1933. (270 pages)


"I had just turned twelve, and we were about to move into a new house. It was a sad time for Grandmother and for us, because we would no longer be living under the same roof, in her big house on Michaelisstrasse, where both I and my brother had been born . . . in addition, she was suffering from a deeper sorrow. Tante Edith, my beloved aunt, my mother’s younger sister, and Grandmother’s youngest daughter, had just informed her that she would enter a religious order, the Carmelites. Eleven years earlier, Aunt Edith had distressed her Jewish family by deciding to become a Roman Catholic, and now this! It couldn’t have come at a worse time in history. Hitler had become Chancellor of Germany . . . "


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Author Info
Batzdorff, Susanne M.
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