An 80-year-old Jewish woman has revealed the astonishing story of how she came to front a Nazi party propaganda campaign in the 1930s after her baby picture was selected by the party as the "ideal Aryan" child.
Professor Hessy Taft, who lives in New York, was six-months-old when her mother took her to leading Berlin photographer Hans Ballin for a portrait shot in 1935.
Unbeknown to her family, Ballin submitted the picture he took of Taft to a Nazi party contest to find its "perfect Aryan baby", German newspaper Bild reported.
The party's propaganda mastermind Joseph Goebbels was said to have personally selected Taft's picture as the winner and it appeared a few months later on a famous Nazi magazine - much to the horror of her family.
Taft's mother, who was terrified of the Nazi's reaction if they discovered her daughter was really Jewish, confronted the photographer over his motives for submitting the picture.
"I wanted to make the Nazis ridiculous,” he admitted.
Taft told the newspaper: "Now I can laugh about it. But if the Nazis had known who I really was, I would not be alive."
The chemistry professor recently presented the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Israel with the magazine featuring her baby photograph.
“I feel a little revenge,” she said of presenting her picture. “Something like satisfaction.”