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

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

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

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


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A memoir of family history, personal identity, and WWII Vienna—a “well-researched, intimate, evocative look at some of the 20th century’s foulest days” (Kirkus).
In autumn 1942, Anna Goldenberg’s great-grandparents and one of their sons are deported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp. Hans, their elder son, survives by hiding in an apartment in the middle of Nazi-controlled Vienna. But this is no Anne Frank-like existence; teenage Hans passes time in the municipal library and buys standing room tickets to the Vienna State Opera. He never sees his family again.
Goldenberg reconstructs this unique story in magnificent reportage. She also portrays Vienna’s undying allure. Although they tried living in the United States after World War Two, both grandparents eventually returned to the Austrian capital. The author, too, has returned to her native Vienna after living in New York herself, and her fierce attachment to her birthplace enlivens her engrossing biographical history.
I Belong to Vienna is a probing tale of heroism and resilience marked by a surprising freshness as a new generation comes to terms with history’s darkest era.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781939931856
Publisher: New Vessel Press
Publication date: 06/09/2020
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Pages: 194
File size: 5 MB

About the Author

Anna Goldenberg, born in 1989 in Vienna, studied psychology at the University of Cambridge and journalism at Columbia University. She worked at the Jewish newspaper The Forward in New York before returning to Vienna where she now writes as a freelance journalist.

Alta L. Price translates from Italian and German, and was awarded the 2013 Gutekunst Prize. Her publications include work by Corrado Augias, Dana Grigorcea, Jürgen Holstein, and Martin Mosebach.

Table of Contents

Family Tree viii

Poughkeepsie, New York, 2013 1

My Grandfather's Papers 7

Childhood in Vienna: Hansi 15

Childhood in Vienna: Helga 21

The Year 1938 27

"Preferably All Together…" 31

"Emigrate? You've Got to Be Kidding!" 41

"Aryans Only" 53

Last Hope Shanghai 69

Theresienstadt/Terezín 83

Overslept 95

Pepi 103

Neubaugasse 123

The End 141

Hansi and Helga 163

Poughkeepsie, New York, 1955 169

Return to Vienna 189

Acknowledgments 203

Archival Sources and References 205

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