Hedy’s War by Jenny Lecoat
(Polygon ISBN 9781846975318)
This is a novel based on a true story and is for anyone interested in The Second World War, the Channel Islands, the holocaust or who simply enjoys a good story!
Hedy is a young Jewish girl who escapes from Vienna only to be trapped in Jersey when the Nazis invade. For some time she succeeds in concealing her racial status and as a fluent German speaker manages to get herself a job as a translator.
Despite herself she falls in love with a German officer Kurt, but before long her very life depends upon that friendship as she becomes involved in acts of resistance, and gradually catches the attention of the secret police who become suspicious of Hedy and of her lover.
Eventually Hedy is persuaded to stage her escape from the island, and with the help of Kurt and that of her friend Dorothea manages to remain hidden until the end of the war.
When liberation comes, Kurt becomes a Prisoner of war in Britain, and Hedy promises to wait for him.
This is an extraordinary story of a struggle against the odds for survival. Of extraordinary courage –not simply of Hedy, but of her lover, her friends and of the islanders themselves who suffered years of deprivation, humiliation and almost starvation.
Based on a true story the events were first told and documented sixty years after Liberation.
Our last glimpse of Hedy is as she leaves Jersey in 1946 to accept a job on the mainland, close to where Kurt himself is imprisoned.