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Reclaiming Heimat Trauma and Mourning in Memoirs by Jewish Austrian Reemigres

by Jacqueline Vansant

  • ISBN: 9780814329511
  • ISBN10: 0814329519

Reclaiming Heimat Trauma and Mourning in Memoirs by Jewish Austrian Reemigres

by Jacqueline Vansant

  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Wayne State Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 10/01/2001
  • ISBN: 9780814329511
  • ISBN10: 0814329519
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Description: In Reclaiming Heimat, Jacqueline Vansant focuses on nine memoirs by seven Austrian reeimigres -- Ernst Lothar, Stella Klein-Low, Hans Thalberg, Minna Lachs, Franziska Tausig, Hilde Spiel, and Elisabeth Freundlich -- who provide moving accounts of the profound loss of Heimat (home/homeland? and self and the desire to recover the loss in part by returning home. A disparate group with varying relationships to Judaism, they were nonetheless bound together by state-sanctioned anti-Semitism. As a result, their individual life stories reflect group experiences that are notably different from the collective memories of the general Austrian population.

Vansant uses these autobiographical accounts to construct a useful framework to explore issues of individual and collective identity and cultural memory in an Austrian context. By examining the textual manifestations of the traumas of exile and return and the process of mourning the loss of homeland on rhetorical, thematic, and metaphorical levels, she reveals the difficulty in reconnecting to the Austrian "we" as a Jewish Austrian in postwar and post-Holocaust Austria.

Reclaiming Heimat will interest students and scholars of Holocaust and Exile studies as well as German and Austrian literature. This book is also intended for a general readership interested in the aftermath of the Nazi era.

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