Last Waltz in Vienna

Last Waltz in Vienna

Paperback

By (author) George Clare

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  • Publisher: Pan Books
  • Format: Paperback | 288 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 194mm x 24mm | 181g
  • Publication date: 4 May 2007
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 033049077X
  • ISBN 13: 9780330490771
  • Edition: 2, New edition
  • Edition statement: 2nd Second Edition, Second ed.
  • Illustrations note: geneal. table
  • Sales rank: 118,271

Product description

On Saturday 26 February, 1938, seventeen-year-old Georg Klaar took his girlfriend Lisl to his first ball at the Konzerthaus. His family were proudly Austrian. They were also Jewish. Just two weeks later came the Anschluss. A family had been condemned to death by genocide. This new edition of George Clare's incredibly affecting account of Nazi brutality towards the Jews includes a previously unpublished post-war letter from his Uncle to a friend who had escaped to Scotland. This moving epistle passes on the news of those who had survived and the many who had been arrested, deported, murdered or left to die in concentration camps, and those who had been orphaned or lost their partners or children. It forms a devastating epilogue to what has been hailed as a classic of holocaust literature. 'A work of literary genius' Michael Burleigh 'A deeply moving book. I felt enriched and grateful after reading it' John le Carre 'Told with calm and dignity. I shall not forget the mother and father' Rumer Godden 'Admirable, combining very cleverly the historical and personal' Graham Greene 'There have been many moving stories of Jewish persecution but none more overwhelming than this' Lord Langford 'Mr Clare leads us gently, but inexorably, to the edge of the pit and then leaves us to look down into it' Edward Crankshaw, Observer 'This poignant memoir is written from the heart ...the truest defence against political hatreds for the future' David Pryce-Jones, Financial Times

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Author information

George Clare (Klaar) lives near Newmarket in Suffolk. Last Waltz in Vienna is his first-hand account of the persecution of the Jews during world war two.

Review quote

'A beautiful book: a fascinating piece of history... a work of art' Beryl Bainbridge; 'A work of literary genius' Michael Burleigh; 'A deeply moving book. I felt enriched and grateful after reading it' John le Carre; 'Told with calm and dignity. I shall not forget the mother and father' Rumer Godden; 'Admirable, combining very cleverly the historical and personal' Graham Greene; 'There have been many moving stories of Jewish persecution but none more overwhelming than this' Lord Langford; 'Mr Clare leads us gently, but inexorably, to the edge of the pit and then leaves us to look down into it' Edward Crankshaw, Observer; 'This poignant memoir is written from the heart... the truest defence against political hatreds for the future' David Pryce-Jones, Financial Times

Editorial reviews

First published by Macmillan in 1981 this book has lost none of its relevance. George Clare was born Klaar, an Austrian Jew who, at 18, fled with his parents from his country after Hitler's Anschluss made life in Vienna intolerable. Tracing his family back to the early 19th century, he combines personal history with the history of Austria and particularly of its Jewish population. The events leading up to the Great War, the Imperial family and subsequent political movements are carefully analysed. At the beginning of the book is his family tree; by the last page the reader will have turned back to study those names 50 or more times. Which cousins survived, who managed to find a haven in time? The family history is detailed and mostly seen through the eyes of the young boy. George's life was fairly privileged; an only child he was adored by his parents and particularly by his father. He describes their visits to relatives, the stuffy over-furnished flat where his grandmother lived, his portly uncles and their predilection for rich cream cakes. Holidays, school reports, disputes with relatives, these were the incidents and topics of conversation which dominated his parents' lives. They were all conscious of Hitler's rise to power but had faith in Austria's political leaders' power to remain independent and free of the excesses of fascism. Clare tells how, up to the end, he and his parents wilfully believed that Hitler would not remain long in power. With engaging honesty he records how he rather admired the strong soldiers and their wonderful armaments when the Germans marched through the city. The Klaar family's comfortable life was obliterated overnight. Their caretaker and servants betrayed them and George's father and uncles were humiliated by a braying anti-Semitic crowd. In the remaining section, Clare describes their flight and his enduring guilt. An interesting, at times very moving, social history. (Kirkus UK)