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On That Terrible Night …

Christian Schütze: The wartime bombing of Germany

21 August 2003
On the Natural History of Destruction 
by W.G. Sebald, translated by Anthea Bell.
Hamish Hamilton, 205 pp., £16.99, February 2003, 0 241 14126 5
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Der Brand: Deutschland im Bombenkrieg 1940-45 
by Jörg Friedrich.
Propyläen, 592 pp., €25, November 2002, 3 549 07165 5
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Payback 
by Gert Ledig, translated by Shaun Whiteside.
Granta, 200 pp., £8.99, May 2003, 1 86207 565 4
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... no demand for recollections of the bombing. All that changed last autumn with the publication of Jörg Friedrich’s Der Brand (‘The Blaze’), which remained in the top ten of the German bestseller lists for months on end. Extracts appeared in the mass-circulation Bild; there were reviews everywhere; some readers, old Nazis mainly, felt obliged to ...

More Reconciliation than Truth

David Blackbourn: Germany’s Postwar Amnesties

31 October 2002
Adenauer’s Germany and the Nazi Past: The Politics of Amnesty and Integration 
by Norbert Frei, translated by Joel Golb.
Columbia, 479 pp., £24.50, September 2002, 0 231 11882 1
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... has since entered general use in Germany. Others had written on the subject before Frei, notably Jörg Friedrich and Ulrich Brochhagen; more have done so since. But no one has written better. This is an important work: very well researched, reflective, sharp in judgment yet alive to complexity. Frei’s book is in three parts, each a cross-section of ...

Six Wolfs, Three Weills

David Simpson: Emigration from Nazi Germany

5 October 2006
Weimar in Exile: The Anti-Fascist Emigration in Europe and America 
by Jean-Michel Palmier, translated by David Fernbach.
Verso, 852 pp., £29.99, July 2006, 1 84467 068 6
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... towards the discussion of the sufferings of the civilian homeland during the Hitler years – Jörg Friedrich on the Allied bombings, Günter Grass’s Crabwalk, and republished and translated novels by Nossack, Ledig and others. Many of the protagonists of these books are the ordinary Germans whose stories were for so long deemed unmentionable ...

City of Blood

Peter Pulzer

9 November 1989
The Jews of Vienna in the Age of Franz Joseph 
by Robert Wistrich.
Oxford, 696 pp., £45, June 1989, 0 19 710070 8
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Vienna and the Jews, 1867-1938: A Cultural History 
by Steven Beller.
Cambridge, 271 pp., £27.50, August 1989, 0 521 35180 4
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The German-Jewish Economic Elite 1820-1935: A Socio-Cultural Profile 
by W.E. Mosse.
Oxford, 369 pp., £35, October 1989, 0 19 822990 9
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Decadence and Innovation: Austro-Hungarian Life and Art at the Turn of the Century 
edited by Robert Pynsent.
Weidenfeld, 258 pp., £25, June 1989, 0 297 79559 7
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The Torch in My Ear 
by Elias Canetti, translated by Joachim Neugroschel.
Deutsch, 372 pp., £13.95, August 1989, 0 233 98434 8
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From Vienna to Managua: Journey of a Psychoanalyst 
by Marie Langer, translated by Margaret Hooks.
Free Association, 261 pp., £27.50, July 1989, 1 85343 057 9
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... like the poet Peter Altenberg, would have been more at home in the Place Pigalle. Others, like Friedrich Eckstein – typically, the university-educated son of an industrialist – moved from vegetarian Wagnerism through theosophy to the occultism that in Vienna became the property of racialist cranks like Guido von List and ...

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