The Aryan Poster Baby Who Was Actually a Jew


Nazis. If it’s not one thing it’s another. In 1935, when the party held a national photo contest to find the most beautiful Aryan baby, Joseph Goebbels himself chose—wait for it—a Jewish child to represent the race.

According to Hessy Taft (née Levinsons), her photo was submitted without her parents’ knowledge by Hans Ballin, a well-known Berlin photographer. Her parents didn’t find out until it appeared on the cover of a national Nazi magazine, Sonne ins Haus, which a commenter on Democratic Underground has suggested is “kind of like Family Circle, but with a swastika.”

When Hessy’s frightened mother approached Ballin to find out how this had happened, he told her, “I wanted to allow myself the pleasure of the joke.”

At the time, it was an extremely inside joke, and Hessy herself had to be kept inside to keep the family safe. But now, 79 years later, the joke has finally gone viral.


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