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Every Friday for the last 25 years of her life, I had lunch with Charlotte and each week she told me more of her extraordinary story. To all appearances, she was a strong and dignified survivor, with old-world courtesies, a twinkling sense of humor, and a lilting Austrian syntax. Yet deep within, she'd been scarred by a profound personal trauma.
Finally, just before she died at the age of 91, she chose to entrust me with this profound secret, and all at once I understood how it had affected her entire adult life. This is a story of friendship and strength, of courage and betrayal. It is an epic tale set against the backdrop of history.