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article imageNazi Germany's ideal and 'perfect Aryan' child was Jewish

By Malysa Stratton Louk     Jul 3, 2014 in World
Hans Ballin set out to make the Nazis look ridiculous as they searched for an image of the "perfect Aryan." He succeeded when he won the contest by submitting a photo of a Jewish child.
Hessy Taft was six months old when Berlin photographer Hans Ballin took her photograph in 1935. Ballin reportedly entered the photo in a contest run by the Nazi party in an attempt to find an image of the "perfect Aryan."
Ballin submitted the photo in the contest without Hessy Taft's parents knowing and he won. When the infant's mother saw her daughter's photo on the cover of the Nazi magazine Sonne ins Hause, she reportedly confronted the photographer. Ballin admitted he knew she was Jewish and told her, "I wanted to make the Nazis look ridiculous."
As a young child, her parents kept her home and inside for fear the Nazis would find out that their "perfect Aryan" child, whose image spread rapidly, was Jewish.
A few years later, the family fled Germany to Latvia and later Paris then Cuba. In 1949, the family relocated to the U.S. and the Nazis never found out Hessy Taft's true identity.
Now, at 80 years old, Hessy Taft is a chemistry professor in New York. She says that she can laugh about it now and that she feels a little like revenge and satisfaction but “if the Nazis had known who I really was, I wouldn’t be alive.”
Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg
More about Nazi germany, perfect aryan baby, Hessy Taft, nazi magazine, perfect aryan
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