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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love Good Loving Street.
I love this book. Melbourne Art Gallery has some of the Gallia furniture on display, which has always interested me and this book brings everything to life. The book is well written and engaging and after I bought the Kindle edition, I couldn't wait to own the hard copy. Family histories are an excellent way to understanding history generally, and this is one of the best!
Published 20 months ago by Priscilla Helen Kopp

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too many lists...
This book is a very pale imitation of The Hare with Amber Eyes. Being of an immigrant Jewish family myself I have more than the usual dose of involvement in books of this kind, but I felt here that, despite the very extraordinary story of this family being able to escape to Australia at the last minute with so much of their extensive collection,the narrative dragged. And...
Published on 4 Oct. 2012 by jackrock


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too many lists..., 4 Oct. 2012
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This book is a very pale imitation of The Hare with Amber Eyes. Being of an immigrant Jewish family myself I have more than the usual dose of involvement in books of this kind, but I felt here that, despite the very extraordinary story of this family being able to escape to Australia at the last minute with so much of their extensive collection,the narrative dragged. And the endless itemisation became tiresome. It's of course a conscious tribute by the author to his family and for that it is to be admired...a great document for his descendants. But gripping reading??? Not really.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love Good Loving Street., 25 Jun. 2013
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I love this book. Melbourne Art Gallery has some of the Gallia furniture on display, which has always interested me and this book brings everything to life. The book is well written and engaging and after I bought the Kindle edition, I couldn't wait to own the hard copy. Family histories are an excellent way to understanding history generally, and this is one of the best!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Viennese life seen from the top, 3 Sept. 2012
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Think of Vienna and the mind wanders back to the Blue Danube, the Strauss waltzes, the old coffee houses - absolute nostalgic enchantment. Good Living Street - a translation of Wohllebengasse in the classy 4th District, the street where the Gallia family lived, takes you to the heart of Viennese fin-de-siècle opulence and high culture. Across three generations they mixed with the Mahlers, the artists Klimt, Schindler and Moll, and the furniture maker Hoffmann, acquiring valuable artefacts of the period. When the majority of the population was starving in the last year of the Great War the family carried on with lavish seasonal feasts and giving one another expensive presents. This family was Jewish, and despite their conversion to Catholicism, it did not save them from the Nazis inserting them within the "Untermensch" or underclass species after the Anschluss.

Two daughters Gretl and Käthe, and one grand daughter, Annelore, fled to Australia after Kristallnacht in November 1938, incredibly taking with them pictures, silver, glass, jewellery and porcelain, and two pianos, one Grand, one upright; other members of the family in contrast experienced the Holocaust and death in the camps, with the few survivors broken, their health ruined, they soon perished or chose to take their lives.

Life in the new world for the "reffo" (meaning exiled) heiresses was not easy. As Austrians with means and not Polish Jews -considered little better than aborigines, they were granted entry. For three years in war, however, they became "enemy aliens", experiencing restrictions and suspicion from neighbourly interfering locals. Gretl and Käthe - who anglicised her name to Kathe, were thus grateful for their new sanctuary; but until their deaths, in the mid 1970s, they felt uncomfortable, sensing a lack of closeness in Australia. For Gretl in particular, there was no welcome, only tolerance towards the new arrivals. They longed a return home, knowing they could only in death.

Annelore, who became Anne, and her boys, Bruce and the author, Tim Bonyhady, a lawyer, takes on the saga to the present. She asked herself what would have happened had she been described as "Aryan": would she instantly have turned on her former friends, joined the Nazi organizations and enthusiastically waved the swastika, simply to be more fully accepted in the Reich? Could she blame them? Sympathise or not, she could never trust Austrians of her age if she returned.

Feelings, moreover, have not improved since the War with the Austrian authorities on restitution of confiscated properties. Except in exceptional instances, like the return of the Munch paintings to Marina Mahler, grand daughter of Gustav, in 2009, it seems that for Austria past Nazi injustice is deemed legitimate, and has become the status quo. The author goes even further. In a visit to Vienna's Central Cemetery a local told him that the Jewish section was very "romantic": he unearthed sunken graves, fallen stones, forgotten paths, everything overgrown, even two wild deer running freely. Did they mean romantic because of the natural habitat, or because it has been forgotten, with the city being cleansed of Jews or "Judenrein" as had been declared in the late 1930s? That is the question which Bonyhady asks contemporary Viennese and Austrians. Perhaps the anti-Semitism that existed since the 1890s has not been shamed away; it raises its nasty head from time to time.

The benefactors of the Gallia treasures are now the Australians, and are exhibited in the National Gallery of Victoria. That was the moment that these "new Australians" were finally accepted more in society than simply new arrivals. The author, however, recounts the dealings with a Austrian shark, a private collector, Rudolf Leopold, who wished to appropriate the booty on his terms. It almost sounded that the Nazi looters were back, though this time without the swastika insignia. With the support of a lawyer in the family a second injustice was not allowed to occur.

This volume first will interest historians of immigration when they will find that unlike many refugees Gretl, Käthe and Annelore managed to travel to Australia, via a flight from Zurich to London, and a first class journey to Sydney via Batavia (now Jakarta), as well as all the contacts they had to make and the favours demanded for visas, copies of documents, and letters of introduction - including from the founder of the Vienna Boy's Choir. It should interest any new modern day migrants entering the European Union from outside as refugees, and realizing that difficulties have always existed, and accommodation, work, and help have never been a human right. Rights have only come after lengthy fights. All the women who were surrounded by domestics had to learn to become self-reliant. To survive in a new world migrants must learn new tasks, and re-invent themselves, and any success is a bonus.

The book should interest anyone interested in classical music and high culture in Europe. What surprises is there is little contact with the Mahlers after the death of the composer, even if the Gallias had occasion to know the architect Gropius of the Bauhaus, and the novelist Werfel. One wonders why?

Finally, Good Living Street should interest anyone who wants to know more of Austria, how it was, and how it is, and its people. It is the second history of a Jewish family in Vienna after Alexander Waugh's House of Wittgenstein The House of Wittgenstein: A Family At War, a family as the Rothchilds who also lived in the 4th District and were virtual neighbours.. Among those readers interested in Austria I must not exclude Austrian Nazis, as it is part of their history too: the one they succeeded in destroying for ever: the destruction of Central European Jewish culture on a par with the Taliban destruction of the Buddha statues in 2001 and Henry VIII's destruction of the English monasteries in the 16th century, and the one they tried to install, which some of Austria's young nationalist contemporaries are nostalgic to copy as a stand against the arrival of East Europeans, Albanians, Turks, and coloured immigrants, the standardized policies declared and being imposed by Brussels on democratic governments, as well as the signs of globalization of multinationals.

It is very readable, informative, and very honest; but no one comes out well in the end. After this the Hollywood vision of the Sound of Music The Sound Of Music [2 Disc 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition] [1965] [DVD]- enjoyable as a film but factually incorrect The Story of the Trapp Family SingersMemories Before and After the Sound of Music, and certain quaint past Austrian stereotypes need a great re-think.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A very compelling read, 12 Sept. 2013
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A wonderful and masterful telling of an amazing and courageous story. A great social history of the late Hapsburg empire and Pre-war Austria under Nazi rule. Loved every page.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good Living Street, 19 May 2013
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A fascinating book - I only picked it to read as it featured that work of the Gustav Klimt and the Weiner Workstatte but it was a fascinating read and I 'couldn't put it down'. The family endured a lot but were the some of the lucky ones to make it out of Nazi Germany and into Australia.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book about another Viennese family escaping the war, 1 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Good Living Street: The fortunes of my Viennese family (Paperback)
Another Viennese family escaping the war and making their fortunes elsewhere (Australia). A bit more cheerful than others - told with some humour. Thoroughly enjoyable and highly recommended.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Twice as long as it needs to be, 4 May 2013
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Clearly published in the UK on the back of the success of the (far better written) Hare With Amber Eyes, this would have been better after some tough editing.
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4.0 out of 5 stars looks good and arrived v fast!, 29 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: Good Living Street: The fortunes of my Viennese family (Paperback)
very good delivery and book looks facinating. It's a Christmas present, so not read it myself. Sure my mum will like it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good Living Street, 17 Oct. 2013
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Very interesting read, rather along the lines of the Hare with Amber Eyes. Well researched and a very enjoyable read.
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2.0 out of 5 stars SOME OF THIS BOOK I FOUND INTERESTING, but most ..., 23 July 2014
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Martin John Brown "martinbrownart" (barcelona,spain) - See all my reviews
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SOME OF THIS BOOK I FOUND INTERESTING , but most of it I found too long . could have been edited .
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Good Living Street: The fortunes of my Viennese family
Good Living Street: The fortunes of my Viennese family by Tim Bonyhady (Paperback - 6 Jun. 2013)
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