Mark Mark is a major character in Hitler's Daughter. Mark is a sensitive boy who enjoys 'The Game' and storytelling. Mark becomes fascinated by Anna's imaginary story about Hitler's daughter named Heidi. Mark learns about many issues such as racism and parent-child relationships as he compares the evil world of Hitler's Germany to his own life in Australia.
Heidi Heidi is Hitler's daughter. Heidi calls her father Duffi. Heidi is an innocent and intelligent young girl who is treated as an embarrassment by her father. Hitler keeps Heidi a secret because she has a large birthmark on her face and a limp. Anna has made up the character of Heidi so her friends (and the readers) can think about their own family relationships. Heidi escapes her father's evil by surviving war and living a free life in Australia.
Mark's mother Mark's mother is a caring and excellent mother to Mark.
Mark's mother is surprised at her son's sudden interest in Hitler.
Mark's father Mark's father is confronted by Mark's questions about Hitler.
He becomes suspicious that teachers have been 'brainwashing' Mark.
Mark's father is critical of the idea of Aboriginal land rights.
Ben Ben is Mark's friend. Ben becomes disinterested in Anna's story because he thinks there will be no 'bombs' and 'gunfire' in it.
Ben is home sick during most of the story.
Little Tracey loves The Game and adds creative parts to Anna's story about Heidi.
Bonzo Bonzo is another of Mark's male friends.
Like Ben, Bonzo doesn't seem very interested in chatting to Mark about serious matters.
Mrs. Latter Mrs. Latter's character provides comic relief to the seriousness of Heidi's story.
The children avoid asking Mrs. Latter questions in case she starts 'raving' again.
Despite her biased opinions, Mrs. Latter is right to inform the children about the problem of racism in Australia.
Duffi Duffi is Hitler, Heidi's father.
Duffi rarely visits Heidi.
Readers know of the evil actions and racism/prejudice of Hitler from history.
Duffi keeps Heidi hidden from society because he is embarrassed by her appearance. Duffi rejects his daughter and soon after commits suicide.
Fraulein Gelber Fraulein Gelber looks after Heidi for Hitler.
Fraulein gives Heidi lessons about Hitler's ideas.
Fraulein Gelber is prevented from seeing her own family.
Fraulein is committed to serving Hitler, but is secretly very sad and lonely.
Fraulein Gelber takes Heidi to Hitler's bunker, but her fate is unclear.
Frau Mundt Frau Mundt looks after Heidi and is clearly a servant of Hitler.
Frau Leib Frau Leib is clearly the first person to love and educate Heidi properly.
Frau Lieb is the hardworking wife of a Nazi (One of Hitler's generals).
Frau Lieb secretly takes food rations from Heidi's house to feed her own family.
Mr. McDonald Mr. McDonald is Mark's teacher.
He is intelligent, serious and a dedicated teacher.
He answers many questions for Mark.
The Schmidt family The Schmidt family saves Heidi from the battlefield of Berlin.
They help send Heidi to make a new life in Australia.
Heidi takes care not to tell the Schmidt’s that she is Hitler's daughter.
Freya Freya is one of the kitchen servants in Heidi's house in Berchtesgaden.
Freya cry because her sister has been killed by the Nazis for being ’not quite right in the head'.
Ben, Mark, Tracey and Anna little were waiting for the bus. They played the game because it's raining. Anna decides this time, they make a story about Heidi, Hitler's daughter. Heidi lives in a big house and Fraulein Gelber is her nanny. Hitler kept Heidi a secret because she had birthmark on her face and she limped. Anna wants to stop with the story, especially in Mark wants her to continue. Mark is very interested in the story.
Mark wants to know more about Hitler’s daughter Heidi. In the bus back home he asks if Anna will go on with the story tomorrow. They decide to come 15 minutes early the next day to let Anna get in the story without Ben interrupting.
The Story Continues:
Mark asks a few things about Hitler to his mother. Hitler had killed 11 million people to get a master race (the Aryan race). Heidi had home school from Fraulein Gelber and did not go to school, because nobody could see her and nobody could find out that she was the daughter of Hitler. She did go to church some times.
Fraulein Gelber is small, thin and has strange hips. When Fraulein Gelber visited her family Frau Mundt took care for Heidi. Frau Mundt told Heidi a lot of stories. In the first world Frau Mundt needed to beg for bread. Hitler promised the people a lot. He promised Germany that everyone could work and the country to be free and proud. Heidi had no friends, because she didn’t went to school and wasn’t allowed to do nice stuff. Heidi didn’t know that her father murdered many people. Fraulein Gelber said Heidi that Jews were strange people who went to working camps.
Mark knows that the story isn’t true, but there are real things in it. He feels a bit connected to the story. Mark asks his father what Hitler had against Jews. His father said he hated not only Jews, but to anyone who obstructed him.
Heidi and Fraulein Gelber had to move to a place where it would be safer. A couple of soldiers brought them to the place. The new house had three bedrooms. One for Heidi, one for Fraulein Gelber and one as a classroom. There also was a dug-out where they could hide for the bombs. The new worker was called Frau Leib. They told her that Heidi was the niece of Fraulein Gelber.
Anna tells that Frau Leib had grey hair, she lived on a farm with her grandchildren. When Frau Leib saw the birthmark on Heidi’s face she said she had a remedy for it. Frau Leib knew she was working for an important family.
Who Is Better:
Mark asks Anna if some people are than other people, what Hitler said. Many people think they are better than other ones. Mrs. Latten thinks women are better than men. Mark father thinks that all Asians are criminals.
Mark Asks Mr. MacDonald if children must love their parents. He also he asks if it’s their fault if they do something wrong. Mr. MacDonald it’s not the fault of the children and asks why Mark asked that. He wants to know if Mark has problems at home. Mark said he just had seen a movie.
Mark is going crazy about the rain. He wants to ask if Anna and Little Tracey could visit him this weekend, so that they could continue with the story. He decided not to do it.
Saturday, Sunday, Monday Morning:
Mark heard a message about genocide on the radio. He asked his mother if all people in Germany agreed with Hitler. His mother told him that the people who protested against him were send to a concentration camp.
Ben is still ill. Frau Leib came with the news that Her Hensel who had given shelter to his sister and brother in law who was Jewish was send away to the camps. Heidi did not understand why this was so special because she still thought that the Jews just needed to go to a working camp.
Heidi did not know what Jews were, but she thought they looked like her because she was also concealed from the rest of the world just like the Jews. She wanted to help them and made a place where they could hide. She also took some food. Only the Jews never came. It already was late in the war and almost all Jews had been taken to the concentration camps. Other Jews had already fled the country.
Fraulein Gelber and Heidi heard a motorcycle coming. Fraulein Gelber opened the door. She told Heidi that they were going to see the Führer! Heidi hadn’t seen Hitler for a year. They talked about if Heidi had been good. And he went away quickly.
Ben wasn’t ill anymore. Mark didn’t like that. Ben thought the story wasn’t very interesting and he was open-eyed about the fact that they were still busy with it.
In the middle of the night Fraulein Gelber came to wake Heidi up. They went away. There were soldiers and outside there were three cars waiting. They got in the second car and had a long trip.
Heidi and Fraulein Gelber stayed in a bunker. When Heidi woke up Fraulein Gelber was gone. Suddenly Hitler was there. Heidi Said: ‘Father! Father!’ Hitler asked who the girl was and told her to go away. The Soldier was very nice to her. But suddenly he lay on the floor and she ran away quickly. Everywhere where dead people. A woman called her and she went there. Heidi told the woman she was all alone. The woman was called Frau Erna Schmidt and her son was called Johannes Wilhem Schmidt. He told Heidi that the Russians killed his elder sister Helga. They were trying to get to the Americans.
The End Of The Story:
The family Schmidt found the camp of the Americans. Frau Erna Schmidt said that Heidi was her daughter. From now on Heidi’s name was Helga Schmidt. They moved to Australia were Johannes father found them. He accepted Heidi as his daughter. Heidi learned the languages and went to a University. She became a children’s doctor and married a doctor. They got two children. This was the end of the story but Mark wanted to know more and asked Anna if Heidi ever told anyone. First Anna doesn’t want to say but then she said that Heidi ones told her granddaughter. She told it as a story just before she passed away.
Explain the title of the book. Make a different title, if you think of a better one.
Describe the setting; where and when does the story take place? What is the story like? Comment on themes; are there deeper, hidden meanings to the story?
Who tells the story?
What type of book is it? (novel, thriller, historical novel……)
Is the story told in chronological order?
there are two stories in this book. First, there's the story about Mark and Anna, and Ben and Little Tracey who while away the time they spend waiting at the school bus stop by telling each other stories.
Second, there's the story that Anna tells about Hitler's daughter, Heidi.
Did Hitler really have a daughter? No, it's pretty clear that he did not. So this is fiction. But by the end of the book you may be left wondering about the possibility, just like Mark in this story.
Anna tells the story of Heidi who is the unacknowledged daughter of Adolf Hitler. She is not acknowledged in public, but she is provided for by her father. She lives in isolation with a governess, Fraulein Gelber, and knows very little of the real political situation in Germany during the war. She receives very occasional visits from her father, whom she addresses as Duffi.
Now, this story is related very slowly over a period of a few days, so Mark, who begins to be drawn into the story, has time to consider the implications of the tale that Anna is telling him. He begins to wonder how it might really feel to be the child of someone wholly evil. Put simply, does that make the child evil too? No, of course not, but what can the child do about it? And how could the child continue to love someone who has committed a gross crime? These are difficult questions to answer.
The thought pestered him all through afternoon school.
People should do what they thought was right. But what if what you thought was right, was wrong?
Doing what everyone else did was no help either. If there was one thing that all that Hitler stuff showed, it was that most of a whole country could be wrong.
Had everyone back then really thought about things? Had they looked at the evidence ...?
As you will see when you read this book, Heidi simply keeps quiet and succeeds in making a new life for herself with a different identity after the end of the war. For her it is a question of going through life as 'Hitler's daughter' and bearing the notoriety which would automatically go with that, or just quietly being herself. Her father, Hitler, was dead of course.
Hitler's Daughter is just a story, but there are people alive today whose father's were known to support and assist Hitler. Wolf Hess, for example, is the son of Rudolf Hess, Hitler's friend. Rudolf Hess was the last remaining prisoner in Spandau Prison until his suicide in 1987. Wolf Hess campaigned tirelessly for his father's release from the prison claiming that his father's treatment was barbaric. There can be no doubt that Wolf Hess' life has been shaped by his status as the son of Rudolf Hess.
Don't be put off by the serious subject matter of this book. I enjoyed reading it very much. You really feel as though you are joining in with Mark and Anna as they come to terms with some of the worst aspects of our shared twentieth century history.