03/07/2014 13:42 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 06:12 BST

Nazis' Aryan Poster Baby Was Actually Jewish


A woman whose photograph was selected by the Nazis to show the 'perfect Aryan baby' was actually Jewish, it has been revealed.

Hessy Taft's photograph was taken by the famous Berlin photographer Hans Ballin in 1935.

A few months after the photo session, Hessy's mum saw her daughter's photo on the cover of 'Sun in the House' family magazine, edited by a friend of Nazi leader Hermann Goering.

The photo had been selected for the Nazi contest for 'most beautiful Aryan baby'.

Hessy's mum apparently went back to the photographer to ask why he submitted the photo, and was told: "I wanted to make the Nazis ridiculous."

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Hessy was then hidden after the photo was published, as it was feared she would be recognised. It wasn't ever revealed that she was Jewish.

Now a chemistry professor, Hessy has given an interview with Germany's Bild newspaper. She told the paper: "I can laugh about it now. But if the Nazis had known who I really was, I wouldn't be alive."

Hessy has also recently presented her magazine cover to Holocaust research centre Yad Vashem, saying: "I feel a little revenge, something like satisfaction."

The Huffington Post reports that Hessy narrowly escaped the Holocaust when the Gestapo arrested her father on tax charges. Her dad's accountant - a member of the Nazi party - came to his defence, and the family were able to flee to Latvia and later to France, finally settling in America in 1949.