Brigitte Hoss has managed to hide her dark past and lived a normal life for 40 years. However, at the age of 80 and dying of cancer, she has decided to come out and tell her story – a noteworthy account of despair, hope and forgiveness.
Miss Hoss’ father is none other than the brutal Rudolf Hoss, commander of the deadliest Nazi concentration camp in World War II Germany – the Auschwitz. Commander Hoss, who played a significant role in the Holocaust, was responsible for the deaths of over 1 million Jews as well as thousands of gypsies and prisoners of war. Hoss was caught in 1946 while attempting to flee Germany and was poignantly hanged in the same gallows where he hanged prisoners in Auschwitz in 1947.
Brigitte was the very daughter of this man.
She revealed that she, along with her parents and four siblings, had planned to escape to South America after Germany lost the war in 1945. However, her father got caught, was hanged and because of their strong Nazi ties, the family suffered living very lowly in poverty the following years.
It was in the 1950s when she traveled to Spain to earn a living and worked as a model in the up-and-coming Balenciaga fashion house. Eventually, she got married and moved to America where she hid her identity for a very long time.
However, a night of drunken stupor had led her to blab about her father’s place in WWII history to none other than her boss who was a Jewish lady. In what might be called a very moving story of forgiveness, her unnamed boss forgave her, even stating she was not to be blamed for her father’s deeds. She worked for that woman for 35 years before retiring in an undisclosed nursing home.
When asked about her father, Brigitte painted a conflicting picture. She stated that growing up after the war had led her to see how evil her father’s actions were as Auschwitz commandant. However, she maintained that as a father, he was one of the nicest in the world.