Books Letters from Elsewhere

Letters from Elsewhere: David Klein

Letters from Elsewhere

Hindsight leads me to think that today’s guest is either exceptionally brave or plain stupid. But it’s only 1940. David Klein doesn’t know what we know today.

Letter from David Klein – war journalist – to Adolf Hitler 1940
(translated from the original German to English)

Lieber Herr Hitler!

I understand that the racial policy of Nazi Germany is based on a specific racist doctrine asserting the superiority of the Aryan race, based on scientific legitimacy.

I am very keen to know, Herr Hitler:  did you ever study Genealogy?

Having recently returned from Germany, I am very interested in your family background.  I understand that your father, Alois, was born in 1837 but was registered as an illegitimate child with no father’s name listed. I know that your grandmother, Maria Schicklgruber (‘sump digger’ in English), worked in the home of a wealthy Jewish family, so could it be that a son in that household got your grandmother pregnant?

In case you didn’t see it in 1933, the London Daily Mirror published a picture of a gravestone in a Jewish cemetery in Bucharest inscribed with some Hebrew characters and the name Hitler. Now I come to think of it, you must have heard this story because clearly you were worried enough to change the Nazi law defining Jewishness to exclude Jesus Christ and yourself! Re the former: you obviously didn’t want to alienate the good Christian society by even suggesting that their Lord could have been ‘tainted’ in any way by not being of Aryan descent. Was Jesus Christ then not born Jewish? What of Joseph and Mary, his parents? 

This leads me to ask: if Christ’s birth-religion is denied in Nazi law, what of your own? Since returning to England, I have attempted to study your Nazi law on this very topic but am confused. According to your rules, who exactly is defined as a Jew? Just the other day I read in a Nazi paper that anything from full Jewish background to 18 Jewish blood defines a Jew;  other German papers, apparently in total panic, urged 116 Jewish blood. Finally, I read that the decision was made for three or four Jewish grandparents to define Jewishness; two or one rendered a person a Mischlinge (someone with both Aryan and Jewish blood.)  Can I repeat that Herr Hitler?  One Jewish grandparent renders a person a Mischlinge.  When will you, yourself, then, be reporting for the next train to the nearest ghetto or concentration camp?

Yours most sincerely,

David Klein

LamplightNote from Olga Swan, May 2016

In 2010, the British paper The Daily Telegraph reported that a study had been conducted in which saliva samples were collected from 39 of Hitler’s known relatives to test their DNA origins and found that Hitler may have had Jewish origins. The paper reported: “A chromosome called Haplogroup E1b1b1 which showed up in [the Hitler] samples is rare in Western Europe and is most commonly found in the Berbers of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia as well as among Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews … Haplogroup E1b1b1, which accounts for approximately 18 to 20 per cent of Ashkenazi and 8.6 per cent to 30 per cent of Sephardic Y-chromosomes, appears to be one of the major founding lineages of the Jewish population.

About Olga Swan’s books

VichyssoiseVichyssoise – Book 2 in the David Klein war-reporter series, set in Vichy France, now available to buy from wherever you live:

Lamplight – Book 1 in the David Klein war-reporter series – now available to buy from wherever you live:

3rd Degree Murder available to buy:

Or check out Olga’s amazon page:

Also, check out Gillian’s amazon page for her children’s literature. A great gift for them:

Read her weekly Sunday blog about life in France, and her occasional Wednesday blog about international writing:


Books Letters from Elsewhere

Letters from Elsewhere: Jenny Mazowski

Letters from ElsewhereMy visitor today must be rather clever. Despite being a character in a novel, she knows about two other novels about to be released. I suspect a certain Olga Swan had a hand in this!

Here’s Jenny’s letter, dated 1986.


To:  Naomi Klein

From: Jenny Mazowski

Dear Naomi,

OlgaSwan - 3rdDegreeMurderHaven’t heard from you in ages. So much to tell you.  You know I got that secretary job at my local university?  Well, it’s been mind blowing. I work for this terrible professor. His name’s Axel Sloan and I’d like to take an axe to him myself. He’s really anti-semitic. You’ll never believe this but last week he actually asked me whether circumcised men were better in bed?  Honestly!  I didn’t know where to put myself.  And then there’s a PhD student from Bangladesh in our department who alleges she was actually raped by him right in his office here!  I know.  She’s such a lovely girl, too. We get on really well together. I remember last Xmas when we giggled together over whether we should send each other a Xmas card or not, like the rest of the department. Well, we both agreed. Enough’s enough. We’re gonna make a formal complaint to the V-C against Prof. Sloan. Trouble is I don’t like the V-C either. There’s something about the way he looks at the male students that’s a bit odd. Anyway I’ll let you know what happens.

OlgaSwan - LamplightSo, what about you? Has your cousin started writing that story about the Klein family history yet? I guess it’ll take a long time to write. Wasn’t there someone called David Klein in your family who got involved in Nazi Germany during the war? And, didn’t he even parachute in to Vichy France too? Wow!  Hope the story doesn’t take too long to finish as I’d really love to find out what happened. Sounds amazing. Let’s hope your cousin finds one of those lovely boutique publishing houses that are springing up everywhere now. I’m sure they’d jump at the chance to publish it. What was the title again? Lamplight! Yes, that’s it. Gives a real war-time feel to it. Maybe the Vichy bit should be a second novel. A good title for that one would be Vichyssoise – you know, like the chilled, green soup they have in France. Can’t wait to read them.

OlgaSwan - Vichyssoise



Must dash. Prof. Sloan is back any minute from lunch and I haven’t finished his grant application yet. If not, there’ll be 3rd Degree Murder for sure!


Jenny x






3rd Degree Murder, a university intrigue by Olga Swan, is available here.

Lamplight – Book 1 in the David Klein war reporter series – is due to be released in February 2016.

Vichyssoise – Book 2 in the David Klein series – is due to be released in May 2016.

Read Olga Swan’s weekly, Sunday blog about life as an expat in France.