Joke's On Hitler: 'Perfect Aryan' Baby In Propaganda Is Jewish

by
Lauren Burgoon
Hessy Taft recalls what it was like being dubbed the Nazis' ideal Aryan as a Jew fleeing Hitler.

Nazis were famous for their propaganda about the master race, even going so far as to publish a picture far and wide of the "ideal Aryan baby" in the run up to World War II.

The only problem: She is Jewish. 

Now an 80-year-old woman who survived the Nazi onslaught, Hessy Taft marvels at the circumstances. She became the Nazi poster child after a subversive -- but potentially deadly -- joke.

Taft was photographed for a portrait in Berlin as an infant. That photographer was later asked to submit the top 10 baby pictures for the Nazis' perverse beauty contest, and the photographer submitted Taft's picture knowing she is Jewish and hoping to make fools out of the Nazis.

It worked too well. Taft's picture was plastered on magazines and even birthday cards and post cards as the ideal Aryan baby. 

The "joke" struck paranoia in Taft's mom, who didn't want her daughter seen in public for fear she'd be exposed as Jewish. Eventually the family had to flee to Latvia, France and Cuba. 

Taft talks about what it was like to be the "perfect Aryan" as a Jew fleeing Hitler: