In “The Secrets of the Notebook”, Eve Haas has chronicled her search to uncover her great, great grandmother Emilie’s romance and marriage to Prince August of Prussia, a member of the Hohenzollern ruling family. She is really trying to determine what happened to her grandmother, their granddaughter. Her search became an obsession after she and her husband were retired and their children grown. It took her behind the Iron Curtain, where her relentless quest became a dangerous undertaking both for her and her husband.
Eve’s grandmother, Anna, gave her son, Eve’s father a notebook for safe keeping and he subsequently showed this notebook to Eve when she was 16. However, she did not take possession of it until both her parents had died. She was determined to find out what happened to her beloved grandmother. Anna was living as a Jewess in the city of Prague before the Nazi invasion and after 1942 they received no more messages or letters from her. They expected the worst scenario for her. This quest for information of her family was Eve’s obsession, especially after she read some entries in the notebook.
Anyone interested in their own genealogy will find this book and its events fascinating. The sheer tenacity of Eve Haas in finding information regarding her association with one of the royal families of Europe is in itself remarkable.
The true story of a girl who learns she’s descended from a princess, told with the suspense of a Cold War thriller and combined with a Holocaust tragedy. “The beautiful owner of this book is dearer to me than my life – August your protector.” This one sentence was the key to a mystery involving some of the greatest and most infamous figures in European history, from Frederick the Great to Napoleon and Hitler—and solved by the author of this book.
Eve Haas is the daughter of a German Jewish family that took refuge in London after Hitler came to power. Following a terrifying air raid in the blitz, her father revealed the family secret, that her great-great grandmother Emilie was married to a Prussian prince. He then showed her the treasured gilt-edged notebook inscribed to Emilie by the prince. Her parents were reluctant to learn more, but later in life, when Eve was married and inherited the diary, she became obsessed with proving this birthright. The Secrets of the Notebook tells how she follows the clues, from experts on European royalty in London to archives in West Germany and then, under threat of being arrested as a spy by the Communist regime, to an archive in East Germany that had never before opened its doors to the West. What she unearths is a love story set against the upheaval of the Napoleonic wars and the anti-Semitism of the Prussian court, and a ruse that both protected Emilie’s daughter and condemned her granddaughter—Eve’s beloved grandmother, Anna—to death in the Nazi camps.