Meet a modern day member of New Mexico’s northern Hispanic settlements who finds a new truth about herself and her family in the unexpected tumult of her life. The disappearance of her two children leads her on an inner journey and an outer one, into the past and toward a newly imagined future where she can finally choose how she wants to live and who she wants to be. Hidden Star was inspired by the emergence of Spanish Catholics and Protestants in Mexico, Texas and the American Southwest, who believe they have Jewish roots. Today, many have thoughts of return, or have already begun the process. A work of fiction, this book was inspired by interviews with actual descendants, plus events that shaped this culture’s history, and suggests that in an era of religious freedom, we’re more alike than different – whatever our heritage, we want a better world.
Corinne Joy Brown is a multi-published author, professional writer and editor who lives in Colorado. In addition to a passion for Western history and culture, she’s devoted her first two novels to the question of identity: MacGregor’s Lantern, a story about Scots in the frontier West, and Sanctuary Ranch, a saga of love and transformation.
The history of crypto or hidden Jews in the American Southwest, descendants of those who fled the Spanish Inquisition more than 500 years ago, became the ultimate stage for questions about selfhood and belief. Current editor of HaLapid, the journal of the Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies, Corinne is a past president of the Denver Woman’s Press Club, a Fellow at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, and was a presenter at the inauguration of the Anusim Center for Return in El Paso, Texas.
Edith Hahn was an outspoken young woman in Vienna when the Gestapo forced her into a ghetto and then into a slave labor camp. When she returned home months later, she knew she would become a hunted woman and went underground. With the help of a Christian friend, she emerged in Munich as Grete Denner. There she met Werner Vetter, a Nazi Party member who fell in love with her. Despite Edith's protests and even her eventual confession that she was Jewish, he married her and kept her identity a secret.
In wrenching detail, Edith recalls a life of constant, almost paralyzing fear. She tells how German officials casually questioned the lineage of her parents; how during childbirth she refused all painkillers, afraid that in an altered state of mind she might reveal something of her past; and how, after her husband was captured by the Soviets, she was bombed out of her house and had to hide while drunken Russian soldiers raped women on the street.
Despite the risk it posed to her life, Edith created a remarkable record of survival. She saved every document, as well as photographs she took inside labor camps. Now part of the permanent collection at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., these hundreds of documents, several of which are included in this volume, form the fabric of a gripping new chapter in the history of the Holocaust—complex, troubling, and ultimately triumphant.