Dancing With the Enemy: My Family's Holocaust Secret

Dancing With the Enemy My Family s Holocaust Secret The gripping story of the author s aunt a Jewish dance instructor who was betrayed to the Nazis by the two men she loved yet managed to survive WWII by teaching dance lessons to the SS at Auschwitz

  • Title: Dancing With the Enemy: My Family's Holocaust Secret
  • Author: Paul Glaser
  • ISBN: 9780385537704
  • Page: 171
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The gripping story of the author s aunt, a Jewish dance instructor who was betrayed to the Nazis by the two men she loved, yet managed to survive WWII by teaching dance lessons to the SS at Auschwitz Her epic life becomes a window into the author s own past and the key to discovering his Jewish roots.Raised in a devout Roman Catholic family in the Netherlands, Paul GlaserThe gripping story of the author s aunt, a Jewish dance instructor who was betrayed to the Nazis by the two men she loved, yet managed to survive WWII by teaching dance lessons to the SS at Auschwitz Her epic life becomes a window into the author s own past and the key to discovering his Jewish roots.Raised in a devout Roman Catholic family in the Netherlands, Paul Glaser was shocked to learn as an adult of his father s Jewish heritage Grappling with his newfound identity and stunned by his father s secrecy, Paul set out to discover what happened to his family during World War II and what had caused the long standing rift between his father and his estranged aunt, Rosie, who moved to Sweden after the war Piecing together his aunt s wartime diaries, photographs, and letters, Paul reconstructed the dramatic story of a woman who was caught up in the tragic sweep of World War II Rosie Glaser was a magnetic force hopeful, exuberant, and cunning An emancipated woman who defied convention, she toured Western Europe teaching ballroom dancing to high acclaim, falling in love hard and often By the age of twenty five, she had lost the great love of her life in an aviation accident, married the wrong man, and sought consolation in the arms of yet another Then the Nazis seized power For Rosie, a nonpracticing Jew, this marked the beginning of an extremely dangerous ordeal After operating an illegal dance school in her parents attic, Rosie was betrayed by both her ex husband and her lover, taken prisoner by the SS and sent to a series of concentration camps But her enemies were unable to destroy her and, remarkably, she survived, in part by giving dance and etiquette lessons to her captors Rosie was an entertainer at heart, and her vivacious spirit, her effervescent charm, and her incredible resourcefulness kept her alive amid horrendous tragedy Of the twelve hundred people who arrived with her at Auschwitz, only eight survived Illustrated with than ninety photos, Dancing with the Enemy recalls an extraordinary life marked by love, betrayal, and fierce determination It is being published in ten languages.

    578 Comment

    • Cynthia says:

      Based on personal diaries“Dancing with the Enemy” is the fascinating chronicle of a Dutch Jewish woman caught in all the World War II madness as told by her nephew Paul. Rosie was turned in twice to the officials, once by her ex-husband and the second time by a lover. They each earned 500 guilders for their efforts as did any other Dutch citizen who conspired in a similar fashion with the Nazi’s against the Jews. This book is particularly upsetting because it highlights the myth that the D [...]

    • Margaret Sankey says:

      Paul Glaser grew up Catholic in the Netherlands, but nearing retirement, his probing into genealogy set off conflict in the family--since the small number of Glasers who spent WWII in the East Indies were the only survivors of a large family betrayed to the authorities by Aunt Rose's ex-husband Leo. Glaser's digging takes him to Rose herself, living in Sweden, and she willingly shares her memoir, written in the 1960s. He alternates chapters adapting Rose's own writing (and a problem with the boo [...]

    • Sarah says:

      I am fascinated with the human reactions to the European events leading up to and during World War II. How did the National Socialist party rise to power? Why did people support them? How did some many fall under their spell? Did the average citizen know what was really happening? How could the average person turn a blind to and/or support the expulsion of their neighbors? What compelled average people to try to stand up and try to save their neighbors?So far this year I have read two books wher [...]

    • Chris Doherty says:

      Fantastic read. This one caught me a bit by surprise. Originally I had figured it was going to be just another perspective on the Holocaust through the eyes of a survivor(still incredibly interesting to me, which is why I decided to read it in the first place) -- and to some extent it was. But this book was layered with concepts/ideas that I had never quite thought about in relation to the Holocaust, mainly because I am not tied to the events in any way, shape or form--only looking from the outs [...]

    • Lisa says:

      This is an interesting look at the author's aunt, Rosie Glacer (put an acute accent over the e), who survived the Holocaust by using just about anything it took to survive in hiding, in Westerbork and Vught in the Netherlands, and in Auschwitz. A professional ballroom dancer, Glacer left diaries and letters and met with her nephew in her later years. Author Paul Glaser was reared as a Catholic and didn't know of his Jewish heritage until he was an adult, married, and a father. His own father wou [...]

    • Jeanette says:

      This is a difficult book to review for me. Because my dislike bordering on an aversion level of distaste for Rosie herself got in my way for the entire read. It is written with her voice and diaries in some sections, first person- and in other lengthy sections the narrative is in her nephew's voice, half a century later in time. It's gritty, evil and as torturous- all characteristics of Auschwitz itself, in parts for both descriptions and experiences. Rosie is the ultimate survivor. She is a par [...]

    • Mom2nine says:

      My five star ratings are very few, but this one was a must, as I told everyone, with whom I came in contact while reading it, how well this book is written. This book is a true story about the author's aunt. He had access to letters and journals and interviewed numerous survivors. The book does not read like a dissertation or history book, though, but is so well written that it could be fiction. Aunt Rosie is an amazing main character, she describes her and her friends as "a team of strong-wille [...]

    • Evelien says:

      Afgelopen weekend bezocht ik de expositie over Roosje in het Verzetsmuseum. verzetsmuseum/museum/daarna volgde ik met vriendinnen de lezing door Paul Glaser. Naar aanleiding daarvan kocht ik het boek en heb het in één ruk uitgelezen. Het indrukwekkende verhaal verveelde me geen moment!Roosje Glaser is een jonge Joodse vrouw uit Den Bosch die als danslerares werkt. Ze is zeer succesvol en danst in Amsterdam, Londen, Parijs en Berlijn. Wanneer de nationaalsocialisten aan de macht komen, begint v [...]

    • Jennifer Manley says:

      They Never Broke Rosie She Always Shined Bright!!I have read many stories about WW2 and I have enjoyed them but this oneI have got to say that this one had me in tears more than any other before. I felt like I had been through just about every range of emotion with Rosie in this story with her. I felt her betrayal when she and her mother were arrested by the Dutch police. I felt her sadness when she realized she would never have children in her life. I applauded her spunk when she did things her [...]

    • Kristy says:

      I thought Rosie's story was amazing and inspiring. She was quite a rebel for her time and lived an adventurous life both before and after the war. The fact that she survived multiple concentration camps--including Auschwitz--is a true testament to her nature. No matter what happened, she remained positive and optimistic. I highly recommend this memoir. It was a truly fascinating read.

    • Sabine says:

      Mich hat dieser Erfahrungsbericht sehr aufgewühlt und das, obwohl ich schon vieles aus dieser Zeit gelesen habe. Er ist tragisch, sehr offen und ehrlich und gibt dem Leser auch noch Einblicke in die Zeit nach der Befreiung – und das hat mir – zumindest was die Niederlande angeht – nochmal ganz neue Aspekte und Informationen geliefert.Das Buch wird aus zweierlei Sicht erzählt – einmal aus Sicht des Autors Paul Glaser, der mehr zufällig anfängt, in seiner Familiengeschichte zu stöbern [...]

    • Jessica says:

      I was fortunate enough to receive this book as a giveaway.I have always been drawn to books about the Holocaust, so of course I was happy to get the chance to review an ARC of this book. Though of course the subject matter is extremely depressing, this book did a wonderful job providing new insight, for me at least, into WWII. I'm used to reading Holocaust books that take place in Germany or Poland, but Dancing provided a lot of information about life before and after in the Netherlands. This i [...]

    • Emmkay says:

      The author, raised Catholic in the Netherlands, discovered as an adult that his heritage was in fact Jewish, and that most of his family had been murdered in the Holocaust. He writes here of his aunt, who seized every opportunity possible to survive, even as those opportunities became increasingly circumscribed as she was imprisoned, first in Dutch camps and then in Auschwitz. She was clearly a remarkable woman and her story is compelling. The story of the Netherlands' post-war history re-write [...]

    • Jennie says:

      I don't think I've ever disliked a character as much as I did Rosie, the "dancer" in the book's title. Her diaries which form the basis for the story, depict a narcissist, intent on proving how fearless, desirable & talented she was. The Holocaust Secret is that she was dissociated from the horrors of her experiences in the camps, which she presents as yet another adventure in her glamorous life. I found this to be an insult to the millions who were tortured & perished in the camps. Rosi [...]

    • Gayle says:

      I am so lucky that I received this book in the giveaway. It is very well written and is a remarkable document of life during the Holocaust. If the statistics are true, the Dutch lost the 72 percent of their Jewish population during the occupation. An astounding figure in comparison to the Germany's 24 percent and even Belgium's 44 percent, according to the author. I was also shocked at how the Dutch treated the returning who had survived the madness. This is a thorough account of a young woman' [...]

    • Rachel says:

      This was an incredible book. It is also one of the few books on the Holocaust where the reader actually gets inside the person's mind. Actually, the author didn't experience the Holocaust he didn't know about it till he was an adult. He just transcribed his aunt's words and created this thought-provoking book. It would be so easy to give out the spoilers but I can honestly say this would make a great book club selection because there's so much in this book to discuss. Definitely worth the time [...]

    • Sabrina Jones says:

      I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. Of course the subject matter is tough and gut wrenching but this book was well-written and obviously very well-planned. I thought Paul Glaser really kept Rosie's spirit alive, not only in the content of this book, but in the way he wrote the book. Her fun-loving and bright personality shined in her story and I think Paul Glaser really made his Aunt Rosie proud with this book.

    • Kalie says:

      So good! The story was amazing and was a real eye-opener about the realities of life in The Netherlands during the war. It also told a similar version of events in Auschwitz to that found in Elie Wiesel's "Night." I hope many more people read this book and take inspiration from both Rosie's optimism and determination and Paul's courage at telling his family's story.

    • Hetty says:

      Heel mooi boek over een bijzondere, veerkrachtige vrouw. Niet het zoveelste oorlogsboek. En er is altijd wel weer een nieuw feit dat je raakt. Hoe Nederland met de uit de kampen terugkerende Joden omsprong, met terugkerende kracht belastingen oplegde en er alles aan deed om het geld van de Wiedergutnachung NIET uit te hieven keren. Wat een verschrikkelijk volk zijn wij toch (geweest).

    • Ingrid says:

      Elk levens-oorlogsverhaal is verbijsterend en verdrietig. Dit verhaal vertelt ook nog eens van de ongeïnteresseerde en harde houding van Nederland bij terugkomst van de kampslachtoffers, onbegrijpelijk en beschamend. Maar het is mooi geschreven en met een zekere afstand, waardoor het goed te lezen is.

    • Hermien says:

      Het was vaak wel beschamend maar goed dat het gedrag van Nederland in de Tweede Wereldorlog aan het licht gebracht wordt. Hopelijk leren we ervan. Ik vond het boek ook wel mooi opgebouwd met afwisselend Paul en Roosje als vertellers.

    • Rima K says:

      One of the best Holocaust stories I've read so far. Absolutely recommend it to anyone who is interested in the matter.

    • Madi Ojala says:

      Rosie sounds like amazing woman who showed unbelievable bravery and spirit in the face of danger. Brilliant read.

    • Don MacAlpine says:

      Whether we want to admit it or not, we are all related to 'the Holocaust'. We are all accountable to the lessons of the Holocaust. Glaser's record of the denial, by others and family, of an obligation to understand the story of his aunt's Rosie's bravery and perseverance during this inhumane point of human history is a lesson that we have all forgotten.I am writing a book, my own experiences in issues related to all of this, when a former lover gives me her library copy of Glaser's record. Yes, [...]

    • itpdx says:

      Although Rosie Glaser, the author's aunt, is a vibrant personality and a survivor, I finished with the book with great sadness. There is a photo of a family gathering in 1939. There are 25 family members pictured. Only 2 survived the war. I had never seen the statistics that Paul Glaser tells us--over 72% of the Dutch Jews perished during the war, whereas the percentage of French Jews who died was 22%. The treatment by their government of Dutch Jews who survived was outrageous and new to me. Thi [...]

    • Kelly says:

      I've been a dedicated reader of the holocaust and the atrocities that unfolded for years. Although I respect the perspective of Rosie from the Netherlands I'm confused. Her account of navigating through relationships, betrayals, and concentration camps during this time seemed selfish, distorted and shallow. Maybe she had to trivialize the war in order to mentally survive it - I don't know. I was uncomfortable reading about her affairs, and her methods of providing entertainment at the camp and h [...]

    • Seema Arora says:

      This book is a memoir, penned by the author Paul Glaser who accidentally discovers his family's Jewish heritage and what happened to his aunt Rosie during the world war two and thereafterWhat struck me most about this book is Rosie's never say die spirit, her joie de vivre and her amazing will to survive in the face of all the atrocities and horror that she has to endure in the various concentration camps at the hands of the nazi'sbut I felt that somewhere, there was an emotional depth missing i [...]

    • Angela Risner says:

      I have read a great deal about the Holocaust, but mostly about what happened to the German and Polish Jews. (Obviously, I've read about Anne Frank, but she was a German-born Jew living in the Netherlands, so again from the German Jew standpoint.) Most recently I read Bo Lidegaard's Countrymen, which describes the incredible Danish commitment to their Jewish citizens. This and Lidegaard's book describe, in very different ways, the plight of other Jews.*The Nazis were running the show in the Nethe [...]

    • Diane Bates says:

      I appreciated that the author was willing to share his family history as it related to the Holocaust,

    • Mariah says:

      History would paint her badly, but it was interesting to see things from her perspective.

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