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Olga Benario, Killed by the Nazis, Has Her Life Portrayed by Her Daughter

05/30/2017 - 13h26

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MARCO AURÉLIO CANÔNICO
FROM RIO

Brazilian historian Anita Leocadia Prestes, 80, just launched the biography "Olga Benario Prestes - A Communist in the Gestapo's Files". The theme is profoundly personal: The murder of her mother, a Jew turned over to the Hitler regime by the Brazilian government of Getúlio Vargas.

The documents used came from the archives of the secret police of the Third Reich and concern the nearly six years (1936-1942) in which Olga was held by the Nazis, until her execution in a gas chamber at 34 years of age. Seized by the Soviets after the end of the World War II, they were made available online in April of 2015.

Divulgação
Olga Benário
Olga Benário

The book centers around the years that Olga Benario was held by the Nazis. The quantity of official records that the authorities of the Reich produced related to the prisoner reveal the importance that they attributed to the "astute and obstinate communist".

There are eight dossiers (containing around 2.000 pages) that the author believes to be "the widest ranging collection of documents about one single victim of fascism". Highlighted in the material is correspondence exchanged between Olga and her family, a total of 55 letters.

"The new documents confirm what we already knew regarding my mother: her unprecedented courage and revolutionary intrepidity. She never betrayed anyone", she declares.

The mass of documents recently released also confirms something that Anita Leocadia was already aware of: Olga's own mother's, Eugenie Benario's, disinterest in the fate of her daughter and granddaughter, due to her involvement in communism.

Translated by LLOYD HARDER

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