The Setting of the Pearl: Vienna Under Hitler

Hardcover | February 16, 2005

byThomas Weyr

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When Adolf Hitler seized Vienna in the Anschluss of 1938, he called the city "a pearl to which he would give a proper setting." But the setting he left behind seven years later was one of ruin and destruction--a physical, spiritual, and intellectual wasteland. Here is a grippingly narrated and heartbreaking account of the debasement of one of Europe's great cities. Thomas Weyr shows how Hitler turned Vienna from a vibrant metropolis that was the cradle of modernism into a drab provincial town. In this riveting narrative, we meet Austrian traitorslike Arthur Seyss-Inquart and mass murderers like Odilo Globocnik; proconsuls like Joseph Buerckel, who hacked Austria into seven pieces, and Baldur von Schirach, who dreamed of making Vienna into a Nazi capital on the Danube--and failed miserably. More painfully, Weyr chronicles the swiftdestruction of a rich Jewish culture and the removal of the city's 200,000 Jews through murder, exile, and deportation. Vienna never regained the global role the city had once played. Today, Weyr concludes, only the monuments remain--beautiful but lifeless. This is not only the story of Nazi leaders but of how the Viennese themselves lived and died: those who embraced Hitler, those who resisted, and the many who merely, in the local phrase, "ran after the rabbit." The author draws on his own experiences as a child in Vienna under Nazi rule in1938, and those of his parents and friends, plus extensive documentary research, to craft a vivid historical narrative that chillingly captures how a once-great city lost its soul under Hitler.

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When Adolf Hitler seized Vienna in the Anschluss of 1938, he called the city "a pearl to which he would give a proper setting." But the setting he left behind seven years later was one of ruin and destruction--a physical, spiritual, and intellectual wasteland. Here is a grippingly narrated and heartbreaking account of the debaseme...

Thomas Weyr is native of Vienna and was educated at Columbia University, the Sorbonne, and the University of Vienna, where he received his doctorate. He has worked for many years as a journalist and has written and translated ten books. He lives in Bronxville, New York.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:384 pages, 6.3 × 9.41 × 1.61 inPublished:February 16, 2005Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195146794

ISBN - 13:9780195146790

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"Who would have thought that a book on recent Viennese history could be exciting and fascinating? Weyr writes so well, with such intimate knowledge, that the book pulls you along. It seems to me that after reading this there can be no more discussion about whether the Austrians were victimsor willing accomplices in Hitler's war. Particularly, the scenes in Berchtesgaden, the Berlin Chancellery and the phone calls involving Goering and Hitler add shattering insights into the history of World War II. Weyr explores a relatively unknown corner of recent history, and he does it superbly."--Cornelia Bessie, Bessie Books