Maria Klein
Fictional Character
In the Presence of Mine Enemies
POD: c. 1940
Nationality: Germany
Religion: Judaism (secret)
Occupation: Housewife
Spouse: Richard Klein
Children: Eduard and Paul Klein (sons)

Maria Klein was the wife of Richard Klein, and the mother of Eduard and Paul. She and her family were secretly Jews living in Berlin

When infant Paul was diagnosed by his pediatrician, Martin Dambach, with Tay-Sachs disease, a condition most common in Jews, Dambach's receptionist, Esther Stutzman, attempted to alter the Klein genealogical records to account for a possible Jewish ancestor. However, she neglected to remove an older record from Eduard's file which did not show such a possible ancestry. Dambach discovered the discrepancy, and notified the authorities. The family was investigated, but when it was learned that Lothar Prützmann, the Reichsführer-SS, had a great-nephew with Tay-Sachs, the investigation was dropped.

Maria and Richard then made the difficult decision to euthanize Paul, rather than allow him to suffer a short and painful life with Tay-Sachs.

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