The ideal Aryan child promoted by the Nazi regime and personally picked by Joseph Goebbels during the Holocaust was actually a Jewish baby.
Hessy Taft, nee Levinsons, now an 80-year-old professor of chemistry in New York, recently presented Yad Vashem with the cover of a 1935 Nazi magazine on which she appeared.
Taft's opera singer parents, Pauline and Jacob, moved from Lavtia to Germany in 1928, Bild said, but by 1935 the Nazis' anti-Jewish laws meant that they could no longer perform. Her father had found work as a door-to-door salesman for an agricultural company but her parents managed to scrape together enough money for professional photographer Hans Ballin to snap their baby, the newspaper said.
A few months later, Taft told the paper, the family was shocked to discover that their daughter's image was on the front cover of a Nazi propaganda magazine called "Sun in the House", which was edited by Kurt Herrman, a friend of Hermann Goering and a staunch Nazi.
Ballin deliberately entered the photograph in a contest for the most beautiful Aryan baby, and when Taft's mother questioned his actions, he told her: "I know, but I wanted to make the Nazis ridiculous." The winning photograph was personally chosen by Goebbels, Bild said.
The family fled Germany to Paris in 1938, and then moved to Cuba before arriving in the United States in 1949.
The Nazis never discovered that their perfect baby, whose image they heavily disseminated, was in fact Jewish.
"I feel a little revenge, something like satisfaction," Taft told Bild.