Two Witnesses’ Testimony. Long Lost Manuscripts from 1938: Vienna – Dachau – Buchenwald
By Maximilian and Emilie Reich
Edited by Henriette Mandl
Translated by Francis M. Sharp
With an essay by Wolfgang Neugebauer about the First Transport of Austrians to the Concentration Camp at Dachau
The sports journalist Maximilian Reich was arrested on March 17, 1938 in Vienna and sent to the concentration camp in Dachau with the so-called “Transport of the Prominent” (Prominententransport) on the first of April. Reich was one of 151 men: among them were former ministers of state, judges, two men who later became Federal Chancellors, Jewish journalists, writers and artists. While Reich was struggling to survive the ordeal both in Dachau and later in Buchenwald, his “Aryan” wife Emilie in Vienna was leading the battle to gain his release as well as to get permission for the family to emigrate.
The complementary accounts of Max and Emilie Reich are in all probability the first reports written by Austrian victims of National Socialism. In their capacity to amplify and clarify each other, the dual points of view of husband and wife form a uniquely enriched portrait of the times and events. Henriette Mandl not only rescued the manuscripts of her parents from obscurity but edited them for publication and contributed her own short commentary as well. Also included is a brief history of the first transport of Austrians to Dachau by the historian Wolfgang Neugebauer.
Winning Back Lost Territory: The Writing of Lilian Faschinger
Edited by Vincent Kling and Laura McLary
Lilian Faschinger (born 1950), whose ambivalent relationship to Austria as a woman and as a writer figures prominently in her work, has commented that writing for her is a form of survival. The captivating storytelling prowess of Faschinger’s first full-length novel, Die neue Scheherezade, charts the literal life-saving function of the tale well told. This narrative skill coupled with an often darkly bitter sense of humor in each of her subsequent novels has allowed Faschinger to emerge as one of the most significant narrative voices in Austrian literature of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Faschinger’s work is a constant reworking of actual and emotional places and spaces as metaphors for a search for identity. Faschinger navigates the narrows between socio-historical limitations placed on women in traditional Austrian society and the meaningless explosion of identity choices in a post-national world. Faschinger’s subsequent works (Lustspiel, Magdalena Sünderin, Wiener Passion, Paarweise, Stadt der Verlierer) explore the uncomfortable architecture of spaces, in which each of her protagonists belongs but feels misused and ill at ease.
This collection of essays considers aspects of Faschinger’s novels – humor, misogyny, music, globalization – as they relate to the difficulty of forming an (Austrian) identity when the past is unresolved and the present is undefined.
Eds. Vincent Kling (LaSalle University) and Laura McLary (University of Portland)
Shaking the Empire, Shaking Patriarchy: The Growth of a Feminist Consciousness in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy.
Agatha Schwartz and Helga Thorson
This study offers an overview and critical analysis of emerging women’s movements and of a feminist consciousness in women’s literature across the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy between its constitution as a Dual Monarchy in 1867 and its demise in 1918. It is the first one, on the one hand, to assemble, in the English language, information pertaining to the women’s movement on the whole territory of Austria-Hungary while adding new and original research data to it; and to present, on the other hand, a selection from original feminist documents and women’s literary texts in English translation from German, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, Polish, Ukrainian, Romanian, Serbo-Croatian, Slovenian, and Italian. Taking into account the national, regional, trans-regional as well as international aspects of the various strands of the women’s movement within the monarchy, the authors demonstrate the variety of women’s emancipatory activism, ideas and creative output in this complex multiethnic and multi-lingual state, a topic that, on the whole, is still little known within the English-speaking world. A comprehensive study of this kind is a unique contribution to both the history of the international women’s movement and to women’s writing. It offers both a succinct analysis of the developments regarding the fight for women’s educational, professional, and political rights among the many nationalities of the Monarchy, while also presenting original texts in translation that illustrate these and other struggles faced by women striving for emancipation during the last decades of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century.
Goodness! The Russians Are Coming
Translated by Maria P. Bauer
Combining a murder mystery with astute asides on aspects of contemporary Austrian society, Eva Rossmann’s tenth novel featuring Mira Valensky, a journalist who often stumbles into criminal investigations led by Dr. Zuckerbrot, is an entertaining and satisfying treat. A dead man is found on the terrace of a luxurious rooftop apartment in the center of Vienna. He is tied to a lounge chair, was apparently tortured, and there is a note, “You’re the first. Greetings from Russia.” Is he the rich Russian Mira saw at the Arlberg? Who is responsible for the murder? Could it be Austrians seeking revenge for events during the post-war occupation, tough Russian businessmen and more sinister elements, or disgruntled investors in transnational ventures? Helped by her Bosnian friend, Vesna, Mira is determined to find out. Her investigations acquaint us with Austrian predilections and regulations, fine food, cooking as an artistic and intellectual pleasure, unconventional relationships, and ambivalent feelings about the influx of wealthy Russians. Old fears resurface, even in some born after World War II. Mira’s curiosity brings her to Moscow and back, she is followed and attacked, but manages to solve the case and restore her personal life.