Originally published in Germany in 1997, Herbert A. Strauss In The Eye of The Storm: Growing Up Jewish in Germany, 1918-1943, A Memoir is not merely a memoir, or biography, but rather a description of a life embedded in the history of the Jewish community. It is the story of Jewish life, both pre-Nazi Germany and during Nazi Germany. Born in 1913 to a Christian mother and a Jewish father, Strauss was raised in a conservative Jewish fashion, studying Hebrew and Jewish history. Like many other Jews, he took little notice as the anti-Semitism of Nazi culture began to seep into his daily life. He remarks of when he was a boy, how amused he was, when during a school genetics lesson, he was selected as the embodiment of a perfect Aryan. But, as Strauss grew older the story changed. Restrictions placed on Jews became more increasingly harsh and he began to feel apprehensive. Yet, while still a student at the Hochshule, a remarkable Jewish school that the Nazis permitted to function until the early months of 1942, Strauss still refused to believe that things could get much worse, and went on concerning himself with his education in the Humanities.
However, by late 1942, after he was shut out of the academic world, made a street cleaner, and then forced into hiding, along with his girlfriend (now wife), Lotte, Strauss finally came to the truth of what was happening. A truth he could hardly believe. Both he and Lotte escaped from the Gestapo, with help from the Jewish underground and Frau Meier, a Catholic, who supplied forged documents so that they could enter Switzerland.