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Eva and Otto is a true story about German opposition and resistance to Hitler as revealed through the early lives of Eva Lewinski Pfister (1910–1991) and Otto Pfister (1900–1985). It is an intimate and epic account of two Germans—Eva born Jewish, Otto born Catholic—who worked with a little-known German political group that resisted and fought against Hitler in Germany before 1933 and then in exile in Paris before the German invasion of France in May 1940. After their improbable escapes from separate internment and imprisonment in Europe, Eva obtained refuge in America in October 1940 where she worked to rescue other endangered political refugees, including Otto, with the help of Eleanor Roosevelt. As revealed in recently declassified records, Eva and Otto later engaged in different secret assignments with the US Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in support of the Allied war effort. Despite their vastly different backgrounds, Eva and Otto gave each other hope and strength as they acted upon what they understood to be an ethical duty to help others threatened by fascism. The book provides a sobering insight into the personal risks and costs of a commitment to that duty. Their unusually beautiful writing—directed to each other in diaries and correspondence during two long periods of wartime separation—also reveals an unlikely and inspiring love story.

Table of Contents

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  1. Cover
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  1. Book Reviews
  2. pp. A-B
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. i-iv
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  1. Dedication
  2. p. v
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  1. Epigraph
  2. p. vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. Prologue
  2. pp. 1-2
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  1. Part I. Eva’s Path to 28 Boulevard Poissonnière
  1. 1. Childhood in Goldap (1910–1926)
  2. pp. 5-13
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  1. 2. Study in France and at the Walkemühle (1926–1932)
  2. pp. 14-22
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  1. 3. Anti-Nazi Work in Germany (1932–1933)
  2. pp. 23-28
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  1. 4. Early Years in Exile in Paris (1933–1935)
  2. pp. 29-38
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  1. Part II. Otto’s Path to 28 Boulevard Poissonnière
  1. 5. Childhood in Munich (1900–1920)
  2. pp. 41-47
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  1. 6. “Education” in Italy and France (1920–1935)
  2. pp. 48-56
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  1. Part III. Resistance and Love in Paris, 1935–1940
  1. 7. Anti-Nazi Work in Paris
  2. pp. 59-76
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  1. 8. War Begins: Internment, Sabotage, and Love
  2. pp. 77-92
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  1. Part IV. German Invasion on May 9, 1940: Eva and Otto Forced on Separate Paths
  1. 9. Eva’s Internment at Vélodrome d’Hiver and Camp de Gurs
  2. pp. 95-114
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  1. 10. Eva’s Refuge in Castagnède, Montauban, and Marseille
  2. pp. 115-135
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  1. 11. Otto’s Capture and Imprisonment by the Nazis
  2. pp. 136-152
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  1. 12. Otto’s Return to Paris and Flight to Montauban
  2. pp. 153-157
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  1. 13. Eva’s Escape over the Pyrenees and Unexpected Delay in Lisbon
  2. pp. 158-168
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  1. 14. Eva’s Voyage from Lisbon to New York
  2. pp. 169-174
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  1. Part V. New York, 1940–1941: Urgent Efforts to Rescue ISK Colleagues, Including Otto
  1. 15. Eva’s Daunting Task of Obtaining U.S. Visas
  2. pp. 177-191
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  1. 16. Help from Eleanor Roosevelt and Other Americans
  2. pp. 192-201
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  1. 17. Three Crucial Meetings on December 27, 1940
  2. pp. 202-211
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  1. 18. 1940 Correspondence
  2. pp. 212-224
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  1. 19. Eva’s Other Activities before the End of 1940
  2. pp. 225-231
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  1. 20. Further Pleas to Help Otto and Other Refugees
  2. pp. 232-237
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  1. 21. Otto’s Wait for a Visa in Southern France
  2. pp. 238-253
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  1. 22. Otto’s Escape to America
  2. pp. 254-266
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  1. 23. Eva’s Defense of Her Decision to Marry Otto
  2. pp. 267-274
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  1. Part VI. Rescue Efforts and Work for the OSS in the Face of Personal Challenges
  1. 24. Priorities: Eva’s Rescue and Relief Work
  2. pp. 277-282
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  1. 25. René-Eva Correspondence: Eva’s Secret Work with the Office of Strategic Services
  2. pp. 283-300
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  1. 26. Three Big Decisions in 1943–1944
  2. pp. 301-314
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  1. 27. A Devastating Loss
  2. pp. 315-322
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  1. Part VII. Separated Again
  1. 28. Otto’s OSS Mission and Eva and Otto’s Wartime Correspondence
  2. pp. 325-339
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  1. 29. The War Drags On, Reports on Nazi Atrocities, and Another Personal Loss
  2. pp. 340-350
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  1. 30. Questions about the Future as the Allies Battle in Europe
  2. pp. 351-370
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  1. Part VIII. Hope Renewed
  1. 31. 1945: Signs of Spring as the War in Europe Grinds to an End
  2. pp. 373-395
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  1. 32. A New Life
  2. pp. 396-403
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  1. Epilogue
  2. pp. 404-425
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  1. Afterword
  2. pp. 426-444
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 445-448
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  1. Appendix A. Summary Backgrounds of ISK Members on Eva’s List of Applicants for Emergency Visas
  2. pp. 449-451
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  1. Appendix B. Examples of René-Eva and Robert-Eclair Correspondence
  2. pp. 452-458
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  1. Appendix C. Eva’s Memorial Summary of Otto’s Life
  2. pp. 459-460
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 461-508
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 509-514
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 515-528
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  1. About the Authors
  2. p. 529
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