Nazis’ perfect Aryan baby was actually Jewish

Germany's Bild newspaper interviewed Hessy Taft, the Jewish woman whose baby photo was chosen as the perfect Aryan baby for Nazi propaganda materials.

Here's a giant dose of historical irony. Eighty years ago, 6-month old Hessy Taft's picture was selected by the Nazis, reportedly chosen personally by Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, as the image of the ideal Aryan baby. That pamphlet had been distributed on postcards far and wide and no one, the Nazis included, ever discovered that the sweet, puffy-cheeked baby in the picture was actually Jewish.

The story of how Taft's image was selected is just marvelous. Taft's mother had taken her for a photo shoot with a well-known Berlin photographer, who then submitted the photo to the contest seeking the perfect Aryan baby as a joke. 

“I wanted to make the Nazis ridiculous,” the photographer told her, reports the British newspaper The Telegraph.

But the best and sweetest revenge of all is that Hessy Taft is still alive—80 years old, and a professor of chemistry in New York. She was recently presented with a copy of a Nazi magazine featuring her baby photograph on the front cover at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Israel.

“I can laugh about it now,” she told Germany’s Bild newspaper in a recent interview. “But if the Nazis had known who I really was, I wouldn’t be alive.”

Posted on July 1, 2014 .