In recent news, the Telegraph reported that a photograph used during the era of Nazi Germany to depict what was thought to be “the perfect Aryan child” has been ironically revealed as a photograph of a young Jewish girl named Hessy Taft.
Taft was born to Jewish parents in 1934, and was six months old when the photo was taken. Her aunt recently recognized her in the photo, which was then revealed to in fact be a young Taft. After further investigation, photographer Hans Ballin came forward and revealed himself as the one responsible for submitting the photo for recognition as “the perfect Aryan child.” According to Ballin, submitting the photo was his way of “making the Nazis look ridiculous.” He submitted the picture of Hessy to the competition in the hopes that it would be chosen, and the Nazis would end up looking like fools who couldn’t differentiate between a child of their idealistic Aryan race and one of Jewish descent, the group of people they spent years trying (and succeeding) to wipe out completely.
His mission was successful—the photo of Hessy was chosen and displayed throughout Germany during the era of Nazi reign. Ironically enough, the photo is said to have been chosen by the Reich Minister of Propaganda himself, Joseph Goebbels. You would think he’d have been able to tell the difference between a little Jewish girl and his “ideal” Aryan baby after years of spreading violent and nasty propaganda targeted at Jews for the Nazis in Germany.
Although the photo could have put Taft at a serious risk decades ago, she’s now able to laugh at the fact that the Nazis chose a full blooded Jewish girl as their ideal Aryan child. It’s become to her an almost personal little revenge on the tragedy that was the Holocaust.