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Last Waltz in Vienna [Paperback]

George Clare
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
RRP: 14.99
Price: 11.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

4 May 2007

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new edition of George Clare's incredibly affecting account of Nazi brutality towards the Jews includes a previously unpublished post-war letter from his Uncle to a friend who had escaped to Scotland.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 Carré

'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


Frequently Bought Together

Last Waltz in Vienna + Night Falls On The City: The Lost Masterpiece of Wartime Vienna
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; 2Rev Ed edition (4 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 033049077X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330490771
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 13 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 71,411 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Review

'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

About the Author

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.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The world they thought they were living in 7 May 2008
By Jeremy Walton TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I saw this title in the window of a remaindered bookshop a few days before going to Vienna with my family. I bought it without paying much attention to what it was about, but thinking it would make a nice accompaniment to the trip. It's an excellent, deeply moving story. Beginning with his great-grandfather, who was born when Metternich ruled Austria, Clare deftly charts the progress of his family, delineating their loves, quarrels, quirks and interests, up until the point where he and his parents had to flee Vienna following the Anschluss of 1938. This brings the narrative to a climax, with one of his mother's friends sadly asking "What world did we think we were living in?"

Clare describes Austria's struggle to remain independent from Germany, and the incredible speed at which anti-semitism rose to the surface following the country's capitulation (when, literally, a single day meant the difference between Jewish families being able to escape with most of their possessions and their having to remain, only to be stripped of their jobs and all that they owned). He finds that the abuse of the Jews was - at least initially - adopted much more enthusiastically in Austria than in Germany, although he also describes brave individuals in both countries who refused to go along with the tide. And his account of the end of his parents (who died in Auschwitz) and his uncle (who survived the war, but was irredeemably broken by it) is heartbreaking. Reading this book in Vienna, while walking through the streets mentioned in the narrative, made the events it describes even more vivid, even though it had the effect of turning the friendly, elegant city of the present day into a shadowy backdrop for this sinister tragedy.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This is a very necessary book for anyone who would understand the effects of Nazi racial politics on individuals.
In clear and direct, but extremely moving prose, George Clare describes his family's services to Austria over the years (including in the Austro-Hungarian army) and his own early life in Vienna as a member of an assimilated Jewish family. But behind his idyllic early life is the growing menance of German and Austrian Nazism. The sheer ordinariness of a childhood and adolescence with his universal experiences makes a dramatic contrast with the extraordinary fate that overtakes the Klaars. George escapes to ultimately join the British Army but his parents and other members of his family are deported to be murdered in extermination camps in Poland. At the end of the book, George returns to France, many years later, to piece together his parents' last months of peace and their eventual terrible fate. On the way, Clare explains clearly the growth of Nazism in Austria and how Hitler was able to bully his native land into union with the German Reich.
Superbly written, this is a heartbreaking account of how one family's fate encapsulates in microcosm the destruction of a way of life, a culture, a people and an entire country.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly tragic story 29 Aug 2004
By Darren Simons TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
This is one of the most moving book I have ever read on the subject of the Holocaust and the treatment of Jews that led up to it. Written in the first person, this book describes how an assimilated Jewish family (Klaar) saw the rise of Nazism firstly restrict and then completely destroy their family.
Much of the book tells of the family history which is a key aspect when following his story. George Clare's description of ardent anti-semitism in Austria is particularly shocking but perhaps most significant of all is his very honest response (as an assimilated Jew) to what was happening around him. . At the time of the Anschluss the author was 17 years old - the book somewhat splits itself into two sections... his childhood and then adulthood coupled with anti-semitism.
It is wonderfully written and I cannot recommend this book enough.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic read! 10 May 2009
By P Gast
Format:Paperback
"Last waltz in Vienna" by George Clare is one of the most moving, well-written books I've read in a while and I would thoroughly recommend it! Ultimately the story is heart-breaking and doesn't end up with a happy ending, but it is told with such clarity of language, attention to detail, mention of personality nuances etc that you are completely transported to the author's description of growing up in Vienna and the deep love he feels for his parent's comes through very clearly! I would rate this book an equal to "Defying Hitler" by Sebastian Haffner-the two have similar subject matter, roughly equal strength in the writing style and the two make for complementary reading! Sadly George Clare recently died (on the 26th March 2009) and he no doubt lived to see an incredible range of human experiences, both pleasurable and harrowing! This is a fantastic book, very well written and totally recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable story 2 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is remarkable in many respects: It is fascinating insight to the politics in post first world war Vienna; it is a first hand view of all that was culturally great of this great city; the music, the art, the architecture, the intellectual great minds, but most importantly it tells the story of an ordinary person who happens to be a Jew.
My mother was the exact same age as George, living in Vienna through the same circumstances. Although not strictly speaking a Jew (her mother was Aryan, but her father was Jewish)her life was a parallel........
She managed to escape to England, but stories she told of her endlessly queuing for the relevant papers now makes much more sense. Her tales of the antisemitism and pro Nazism were hard to comprehend until I read this book. I was in his shoes and hers from the first page..........
I will treasure this book as a history of my mothers early to teenage years in Vienna and realize how lucky she and her father were to escape the clutches of Hitler. There are many stories like George Clare's, but few have been written so clearly and touchingly. It is a story of ups and downs, highs and lows, success and failure, but ultimately it is the story of survival for George, and the wrath of the Third Reich for many of his family simply because they were Jewish.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Sad yet triumphant
This book was definitely worth reading. It is not just a personal story, but author George Clare gives a good background in the history of Hitler's Anschluss. Read more
Published 3 months ago by R Helen
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended
Immensely moving book, beautifully written, the family tragedy described is all the more poignant because of the author's balance and objectivity. Read more
Published 4 months ago by D. Ashdown
5.0 out of 5 stars On beauty and compassion
This is a rare book in that it was written with a total objectivity by someone speaking of his own family history in a period of history that has been written on ad nauseaum. Read more
Published 6 months ago by John K. Gray
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read
A very well written book. The endorsement by John le Carre is fully justified.
This book brought home the full horror of what happened to decent, successful, hard working... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Paul Williams
3.0 out of 5 stars dont know
Have not read this e book yet just purchased. That is why I can not make any rating nor review. Because I am interested in this field purchased it.
Published 19 months ago by Szilard Paczer
5.0 out of 5 stars "...A la recherché des parents perdu..."
At the very end of this book, George Clare is in the small village of St. Pierreville, in the Ardèche, France, in search of the last fragments of the lives of his parents,... Read more
Published on 10 Aug 2012 by John P. Jones III
4.0 out of 5 stars Top read
How to describe this book? It is the autobiography of someone who was born and grew up in Vienna before Nazism. Read more
Published on 2 July 2012 by Christopher H
5.0 out of 5 stars Told with honesty and great clarity
This autobiographical book is told with great clarity and honesty. The world of pre-Nazi Vienna is contrasted sharply with the disintegration of culture and the brutality of life... Read more
Published on 1 Oct 2009 by Sarah Jeffery
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly tragic story
This is one of the most moving book I have ever read on the subject of the Holocaust and the treatment of Jews that led up to it. Read more
Published on 8 Sep 2004 by Darren Simons
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