October 2012 Indie Next List
“Kanter's ability to take you inside her memories is phenomenal. Her tone is fluid, yet full of the tension of the times. You are there, seeing through her eyes. Her use of unique phrases -- 'it was delicious to know who was walking with whom' -- and the way she speaks directly to her husband's memory add a refreshing and dreamlike familiarity to her prose. A love story, a reminder of a cruel period in history, and a book filled with hope, beautifully written. I'll never forget it!”
— Linda Bond, Auntie's Bookstore, Spokane, WA
The astonishing true journey of Trudi Kanter, an Austrian Jew, whose courage, resourcefulness, and perseverance kept both her and her beloved safe during the Nazi invasion is a rediscovered masterpiece.
“ FOR EVEN IN NAZI VIENNA, Trudi realized, women still looked in the mirror. . . . She knows that even in the bleak darkness, we feel, love, desire. She left no child (she and Walter tried, with no success); her hats are long lost, but her book is her legacy, discovered once again.” —From the introduction by Linda Grant, a uthor of The Clothes on Their Backs, The Thoughtful Dresser and We Had It So Good
In 1938 Trudi Kanter, stunningly beautiful, chic and charismatic, was a hat designer for the best-dressed women in Vienna. She frequented the most elegant cafés. She had suitors. She flew to Paris to see the latest fashions. And she fell deeply in love with Walter Ehrlich, a charming and romantic businessman. But as Hitler’s tanks rolled into Austria, the world this young Jewish couple knew collapsed, leaving them desperate to escape.
In prose that cuts straight to the bone, Some Girls, Some Hats and Hitler tells the true story of Trudi’s astonishing journey from Vienna to Prague to blitzed London seeking safety for her and Walter amid the horror engulfing Europe. It was her courage, resourcefulness and perseverance that kept both her and her beloved safe during the Nazi invasion and that make this an indelible memoir of love and survival.
Sifting through a secondhand bookshop in London, an English editor stumbled upon this extraordinary book, and now, though she died in 1992, the world has a second chance to discover Trudi Kanter’s enchanting story. In these pages she is alive—vivid, tenacious and absolutely unforgettable.
About the Author
Trudi Kanter was born in Austria and moved across Europe as she tried to escape the Nazis. She and her husband finally settled in England, where she first published her memoir. Her story was lost after her death in 1992 but was reintroduced to the world with the publication of Some Girls, Some Hats and Hitler.
“This one memoir is a generous- spirited book. Its many delightful moments, as well as its almost matter-of-fact description of menace and impending danger, stay long in the mind.”
“What makes the book so instantly mesmerizing is Trudi Kanter herself, who fashioned sentences just the way she fashioned hats as a milliner in late 1930s Vienna—each a dazzling, delicate object of delight.”
“TrudiKanter's memoir is blessed with a wonderful title and an even better backstory…her spirited charm will win you over.”
“In a rediscovered memoir, the charmed life of designer Trudi Kanter is split open as the Nazis claim Vienna and terror reigns. Every Holocaust story is worth remembering, and Trudi's is unique—she refuses to lose her vision of what the world should be at its very best: a place of red roses, Paris avenues, and above all else, true love.” —Alice Hoffman
“There have been many books by and aboutrefugees from the Third Reich…but there can be few if any that manage tocombine terror and death with such sheer frivolity as this engaging memoir….Ms. Kanter’s attraction to the light rather than the storm clouds thatbedeviled so much of her existence makes her book a happy read.”
“With anatural writing style, a talent for re-creating the details of daily life(especially the fashions), Trudi, who died in 1992, comes alive for the reader,creating what becomes a valuable piece of social history. But more than allthis, her memoir is a poem of love to her husband, to the cities of Vienna andParis, and to a way of life that, in the twinkling of an eye, completelydisappeared.”
“Some Girls,Some Hats and Hitler does not minimize the horrors ofwar or the Holocaust, but through Kanter's delightful hopefulness and spare,riveting writing, it presents an unusual memoir of an era that must not beforgotten.”
“This Holocaust memoir is more a tale of lovethan a horror story of Nazi-occupied Europe...the words
and imagery flow beautifully.”
“From Paris to Vienna to London, Kantercreates a vibrant tapestry of her incredible odyssey through one of the darkestperiods in contemporary history. Romance, passion, and peril create anauthentically vivid backdrop for this intimate chronicle.”
“This book is a remarkable, first-hand account of life during the time, andthe importance that fashion played in the survival of Kanter and her lovedones.”
“In prose that cuts straight to the bone, SOMEGIRLS, SOME HATS AND HITLER tells the true story of Trudi’s astonishing journeyfrom Vienna to Prague to blitzed London seeking safety for her and Walter amidthe horror engulfing Europe…enchanting…In these pages she is alive --- vivid,tenacious and absolutely unforgettable.”
“TrudiKanter relates the emotional roller coaster she was on in attempting to get toEngland with her parents and the love of her life, Walter. The reader sharestheir terror and resultant cycles of inertia, hope and finally galvanization ofemotional resources that Ms. Kanter, her family and friends all brought tobear.”
"Nothing undid beauty and romance like the onslaught of World War II. And yet in Trudi Kanter's elegant memoir Some Girls, Some Hats and Hitler love and grace survive the horror in Western Europe. What an enchanting book. What a gem. I could not put it down.” --Jennifer Gilmore, author of The Mothers and Something Red
"This Holocaust memoir is more a tale of love than a horror story of Nazi-occupied Europe...the words
and imagery flow beautifully." -Publishers Weekly
"Distilled through the lens of a sartorial dignitary, Some Girls, Some Hats and Hitler offers an illuminating chronicle of narrow wartime escapes, calamity, and ingenuity. What makes this account all the more revealing is its candor regarding the persistence of mortal tendencies amid even the most disastrous of situations. Sometimes there is vanity, sometimes jealousy, and often, in the most unexpected of places, beauty of both the aesthetic and human varieties." --Alicia Oltuski, author of Precious Objects
"A fascinating romance, a tribute to the love that beat Hitler." --Daily Post
“A wonderful memoir of a young milliner in pre-World War II Vienna who flees to London with the man she loves when Hitler’s tanks invade. Despite the tragic subject matter, this warm and vividly humorous autobiography is a must for anyone interested in fashion, history – and love.” —Bella
“For even in Nazi Vienna, Trudi realized, women still looked in the mirror….Her book is also about the appetite for life, for clothes and hats, and food, and cocktails, and sex, and furnishings, and good company, and conversation. She knew that even in the bleak darkness, we feel, love, desire. She left no child (she and Walter tried, with no success); her hats are long lost, but her book is her legacy, discovered once again.”
–From the introduction by Linda Grant, author of The Clothes on Their Backs, The Thoughtful Dresser, and We Had It So Good
“Trudi Kanter's memoir is blessed with a wonderful title and an even better back story…her spirited charm will win you over.”