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I Belong to Vienna: A Jewish Family's Story of Exile and Return

– tekijä: Anna Goldenberg

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
3217585,542 (3.84)7

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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 17) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Tämä arvostelu kirjoitettiin LibraryThingin Varhaisia arvostelijoita varten.
I BELONG TO VIENNA A JEWISH FAMILY'S STORY OF EXILE AND RETURN by Anna Goldenberg is a compelling read. It is a sad story and at the same time a happy story. A sad story because so many of Anna's family were murdered in the camps but some survived and many never left Vienna which had been their home. The book is a wonderful way to explore Vienna from the 1930s to the present. A happy story because many did survive the Holocaust and still lived in Vienna. Anna, the author, and of the youngest generation came to New York to get a Masters Degree at Columbia University. As much as she loved New York she felt lonely and wanted to return to the Vienna of her family. Some were surprised by the decision that she would return to the city that the Nazis invaded and that had been so destroyed during the war. But return she did and joined her extensive family and felt at home again. That is what makes it a happy story. The book is very readable and gives you a good feel for Vienna from before, during and after the war. I strongly recommend this book. ( )
  SigmundFraud | Oct 4, 2020 |
Tämä arvostelu kirjoitettiin LibraryThingin Varhaisia arvostelijoita varten.
Having struggled to reconstruct my own, less dramatic, family history I have nothing but admiration for Anna Goldenberg’s efforts to discover her family’s past. Residents of Vienna, like many they were not expecting the events that transpired after the Anschluss. Caught up in the Holocaust some of her family survived and some did not. Surprisingly, her grandparents returned to Vienna because after all it was their home as it still is for the author. A fascinating memoir.
  varielle | Sep 30, 2020 |
Tämä arvostelu kirjoitettiin LibraryThingin Varhaisia arvostelijoita varten.
I Belong to Vienna: A Jewish Family's Story of Exile and Return; Anna Goldenberg, Author
The author researched her family’s history, beginning in their homeland, Austria. She wanted to uncover their experiences during the war. I found some of her assessments to be naïve or a bit distant, in the same way as she found some of her relative’s assessments to be less fraught than she had expected. Perhaps it is an Austrian trait to withhold a little emotion.
The prevailing attitude of the author’s family members seemed to be that they would be afforded greater latitude when Hitler rose to power. They had fought for Austria. They had excellent contacts. However, they lacked a grasp of the seriousness of the situation to come. Perhaps the idea that they would not be as badly treated should not have appeased them. They should have been affronted for those that would be treated more poorly. Like Germans who didn’t think Hitler would be so bad if you were a “good German”, or “a good Jew”, they thought they were good Austrians and would be afforded advantages that others would be refused. Even when their rights were curtailed, they found optimism. They were forced out of their apartment, but the apartment they were given was larger and had better plumbing. They thought maybe they would like this Hitler. Things soon changed and so did their attitudes.
After the war ended, many family members never returned and were never heard from again. Eventually, when those who survived discovered the fate of the missing relatives, they learned many had been brutalized and murdered, many had suffered far worse than they had, and they had not had a picnic. The story Anna tells does not seem as horrific as some I have read in the past, however. Perhaps, because several members of her family were in Theresienstadt, the model camp, they had a better lifestyle than those in the death camps. Perhaps her family members had greater forbearance and could withstand the horror around them. Perhaps they simply had more good fortune since those family members did survive and were not sent to the more brutal Concentration Camps. Perhaps the experience in Austria was different than the one in Poland and France and other conquered countries.
From around 1938, when Anna describes the Anschluss, as Germany invades and conquers Austria, until the close, she tries to uncover the family’s secret history. She learned how those who considered themselves true Aryans caused the countries that Germany conquered to descend into a maelstrom of hate and prejudice against all Jews, no matter how slight the relationship. Jews were blamed for all the ills of the people and had to be removed from society. She learned who was deported and who hid in plain sight. She learned how they got through the war. The rest of Germany watched in silence, as their neighbors disappeared. Some watched in fear, since retaliation was brutal, but some completely supported the heinous and brutal Nazi regime and participated in gathering the spoils of war.
I was surprised that the surviving family members returned to Vienna when the war ended. It was their country, they believed, and they wanted to remain. That attitude differs from the victims in most other books I have read on the subject. In most cases, returning victims found their property was gone, their “Aryan” neighbors could not face them and didn’t want to, they were resented, and many times, victimized again. They felt unwelcome. They wanted to go to a country that would welcome them where they could start over to rebuild their broken lives. They did not want to stay with those that had vilified them.
Greed, anti-Semitism and hate for those not purely Aryan, governed the behavior of the Germans in the Nazi Party. They blamed everyone but themselves for their own failures, and wanted what the more successful had achieved without working for it. They needed a scapegoat to explain away their own shortcomings. Of course there were other external influences that caused World War II, such as a failed economy, but that dire state was the result of another unsuccessful war they started, World War I.
I thought that the book was very relevant today, politically, which is unsettling. As our country, the United States, experiences chaos and violence and the media is either silent or promoting it, and the people who are guilty accuse the innocent of causing the problems, I fear we are sliding into the maelstrom without a hope of stopping. Since the news is not accurately reporting violent events, calling them peaceful, they are encouraging it. They appear to be sanctioning the mayhem and protests against innocent victims. They are sanctimonious and think they are better and know better than the factions they are protesting against. It seems all too familiar, as the disenchanted run wild and rampage. Have the Brown Shirts come to America?
This book was given to me by librarything.com ( )
  thewanderingjew | Jul 31, 2020 |
Tämä arvostelu kirjoitettiin LibraryThingin Varhaisia arvostelijoita varten.
For more reviews and bookish posts please visit: http://www.ManOfLaBook.com

I Belong to Vienna: A Jewish Family's Story of Exile and Return by Anna Goldenberg is a memoir of the author’s family experience as European Jews during World War II, as well as reflections on the effects on her life and theirs. Ms. Goldenberg is a reporter who currently lives in Vienna, Austria.

Like many others decedents of families whose members survived the Holocaust, the author set out to find out more about what happened to her relatives during those horrible times. I Belong to Vienna: A Jewish Family's Story of Exile and Return by Anna Goldenberg is the product of that research, and the author’s analysis of those events, how it shaped her family and their lives.

It has been known that Holocaust survivors did not talk about the evens which they survived until very late in life, some of their most traumatic events were not even known to their children. In later years, they have started to open up, projects like Stephen Spielberg’s USC Shoah Foundation has filmed over 52,000 persons telling their stories so there will be a record and they won’t be lost to history.

Ms. Goldenberg managed to piece together stories from her family, as well as dig in archives to find some documents to verify those stories. Part of the book even manages to give the readers a glimpse of what life was like in Vienna before the Nazis took over.

The book missed the mark in recounting the memoirs of her grandparents, but hit the mark when it came to the author’s reflection of the events which they told about. Personal events, mind you, not the big pictures which one can read about in most history books. The narrative feels like the author couldn’t decide if the book will be a memoir, or about the impact the Holocaust had on the survivor’s children and grandchildren – so the book is somewhere in the middle but doesn’t quite hit the mark here nor there. To me it seemed like every time the author had an insight, she chose not to examine it closely, but just moved away from it.

The book is certainly worth reading, we should not be losing this kind of history, and future generations of the author’s family will have something that many others wish they did. Frankly, I’m jealous of Ms. Goldenberg and others like her who has the tenacity and talent to do such research and write a book for future generations of their family, I wish I had just a little bit of that kind of talent. ( )
  ZoharLaor | Jul 24, 2020 |
Tämä arvostelu kirjoitettiin LibraryThingin Varhaisia arvostelijoita varten.
This was a most unusual memoir by Anna Goldenberg, telling of her family's experiences as Austrian Jews during the Holocaust and after.

The author had done much meticulous research by interviewing family members, seeking out archives and most surprising of all, a wealth of papers left by ger grandparents, Drs. Hella and Hansi Feldner Bustin.

It's a story of amazing survival, rebirth, and reconnection. While several extended family members died at the hands of the Nazis, her grandparents managed to survive against all odds, and ultimately meet, marry, and finally decide to circle back to Vienna where they lived out their lives. ( )
  chrisac | Jul 10, 2020 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 17) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
“Why would you return to a city that tried to murder you? Here is the story of one Jewish family that did … Blends history, biography, and memoir … Well-researched, intimate, evocative look at some of the 20th century’s foulest days.”
—Kirkus Reviews
lisäsi NewVesselPress | muokkaaKirkus Reviews
 
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