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Shedding Our Stars
Cover of Shedding Our Stars
Shedding Our Stars
The Story of Hans Calmeyer and How He Saved Thousands of Families Like Mine
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During the German occupation of the Netherlands, 1940 to 1945, all Jews were ordered to register the religion of their grandparents. The Reichskommissar appointed the young lawyer Hans Calmeyer to adjudicate "doubtful cases." Calmeyer used his assignment to save at least 3,700 Jews from deportation and death, dwarfing the number saved by Schindler's famous rescue operation.
Laureen Nussbaum—née Hannelore Klein—owes her life to this brave German official. In Shedding Our Stars, she tells how Calmeyer declared her mother non-Jewish and deleted her and her family from the deportation lists, saving them from death. She goes on to interweave his story with her family's tale of survival, as well as with that of her boyfriend and, later, husband, Rudi Nussbaum. Since in Amsterdam the Kleins were close to the Franks, Anne Frank and her family also figure in book. Going beyond the liberation of the Netherlands to follow both Calmeyer's and the author's story to the end of their lives, Shedding Our Stars is a story of courage in the darkest of times, and of the resilience of the human spirit.
During the German occupation of the Netherlands, 1940 to 1945, all Jews were ordered to register the religion of their grandparents. The Reichskommissar appointed the young lawyer Hans Calmeyer to adjudicate "doubtful cases." Calmeyer used his assignment to save at least 3,700 Jews from deportation and death, dwarfing the number saved by Schindler's famous rescue operation.
Laureen Nussbaum—née Hannelore Klein—owes her life to this brave German official. In Shedding Our Stars, she tells how Calmeyer declared her mother non-Jewish and deleted her and her family from the deportation lists, saving them from death. She goes on to interweave his story with her family's tale of survival, as well as with that of her boyfriend and, later, husband, Rudi Nussbaum. Since in Amsterdam the Kleins were close to the Franks, Anne Frank and her family also figure in book. Going beyond the liberation of the Netherlands to follow both Calmeyer's and the author's story to the end of their lives, Shedding Our Stars is a story of courage in the darkest of times, and of the resilience of the human spirit.
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  • Born in 1927 in Frankfurt, Laureen Nussbaum was the middle daughter of the Klein family. When she was eight, the Kleins left Hitler's Germany and settled in Amsterdam, close to Anne Frank and her family, old friends from Frankfurt. When Hans Calmeyer, the German official in charge of "dubious cases," decided in favor of their petition to be considered non-Jews, and Nussbaum's mother and sisters were allowed to shed their yellow stars, her father, living in a "privileged mixed marriage," was not deported. In 1957, Nussbaum and her husband, Rudi, moved to the United States and eventually, settled in Portland, OR, where Rudi joined the faculty of Portland State University (PSU). There, Nussbaum went back to school and subsequently got her PhD in German Language and Literature at the University of Washington. She joined the faculty of PSU, published dozens of academic papers, and eventually retired as a full professor. In 2012, after her husband's death, she moved to Seattle.
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Shedding Our Stars
Shedding Our Stars
The Story of Hans Calmeyer and How He Saved Thousands of Families Like Mine
Laureen Nussbaum
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