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Alexander Lernet-Holenia und Maria Charlotte Sweceny

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ISBN: 9783205788874 Year: Pages: 462 DOI: 10.26530/oapen_574653 Language: German
Publisher: Böhlau Grant: Austrian Science Fund - D 4364
Subject: Languages and Literatures
Added to DOAB on : 2015-09-07 11:01:16
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Abstract

In the centre of this study stand some 154 letters exchanged between the Austrian writer Alexander Lernet-Holenia (1897-1976) and Maria Charlotte ("Lotte") Sweceny (née Stein, 1904-1956), the co-proprietor of the Viennese publishing house Manz, between 1938 and 1945. The transcripts are followed by a commentary that aims to elucidate the historical, individual and geographical references. A methodological note explains the corpus' provenance and method of transcribing and commenting on the letters adopted in the thesis. The last chapter of this study is devoted to Lotte Sweceny, the letters' addressee, and her family background. The letters' existence is due to the fact that the couple was separated by the outbreak of WW II and continued their relationship through correspondence. In September 1939 Lernet took part in the "Wehrmacht's" raid on Poland and was lightly wounded. As a result he spent the rest of the war on a leave of absence in his house in St. Wolfgang and, after September 1941, in Berlin. There, he worked as head of development of the "Heeresfilmstelle" (an office in charge of producing NS propaganda films), writing scripts himself and evaluating those by others. In these years, two of his most important novels, Mars im Widder (Mars in Aries) and Beide Sizilien (The Two Sicilies), were written - both are today considered as running counter to NS propaganda. Lotte Sweceny and her friends found their way into the set of characters and into the plot of Mars in Aries. The collection of poems Die Trophae (The Trophy) also originated from these years. When published in 1946, Lernet dedicated this work - which he considered to be his best - to Lotte Sweceny. The letters contain important background and numerous insights about the genesis and subsequent publication of these works. They also provide biographical details that shed light on the conditions of Lernet-Holenia's life and work during these years. Inter alia, they illuminate the circumstances surrounding Lernet-Holenia's posting to and role in the "Heeresfilmstelle". The writer considered his duties there dull and counterproductive to his actual work and unsurprisingly tried to escape from them as soon as possible. The thesis also addresses certain controversial issues in Lernet-Holenia's biography, in particular his involvement with the Nazi regime and his views on antisemitism: The way Lernet-Holenia writes about the regime and its protagonists in the letters suggests a clear political and intellectual distance to the "Third Reich" and thus reinforces scholarly voices that have, in this regard, already spoken in favor of the author. His use of a certain cipher in his letters even indicates that Lernet-Holenia was in touch with victims (or at least opponents) of the Nazi regime on behalf of Lotte Sweceny, the latter being half-Jewish herself. His personal and private dissociation from the Nazis did not, however, keep Lernet-Holenia from participating in their apparatus as long as he considered it beneficial for his career and/or his personal safety. Lotte Sweceny, who was married to an "Aryan" industrialist, came from the assimilated Jewish bourgeoisie of Vienna. The stimulating atmosphere of her parental home was, in part, the product of the commitment of the two preceding generations to assimilate. The chapter also deals with Lotte's marriage with Otto C. Sweceny - a marriage that was intended as a liberal experiment - and with the circle of friends consisting of architects, writers and others portrayed by the Austrian publicist Milan Dubrovic.

Keywords

Letters --- Judaism --- World War II --- Censorship

Stalins Soldaten in Österreich

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ISBN: 9783205787006 Year: Pages: 874 Seiten DOI: 10.26530/OAPEN_453611 Language: German
Publisher: Böhlau Grant: Austrian Science Fund - D 4264
Added to DOAB on : 2013-09-21 22:37:39
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As Soviet troops first set foot on Austrian territory on March 29, 1945 near Klostermarienberg, they found themselves in a hostile, perplexing and largely unknown world. The Austrians by no means greeted their Eastern "liberators from the fascist yoke" with open arms. Given the first encounters with the Austrian population a variety of stereotypes developed, supporting images of the enemy and the other. Soviet propaganda together with the war experiences anchored these ideas deep into the sub-conscious. However, also ideas of the West that had been aroused by film and literature were now confronted with reality. The Red Army's glorious and triumphant end of WWII was followed by their ten-year long occupation of Austria, where hundreds of thousands of Soviet soldiers and officers, their wives and children and also civil occupational personnel were linked to Austria for many months and sometimes even years. Moscow attempted (often in vain) to train their troops in line with a "higher political oversight," to boost their military discipline and to strengthen their "political and moral status." From the Soviet point of view, direct confrontation with the Austrian population, but also the Western occupying forces rescued them from the danger of being a "hostile takeover." Doubts about the superiority of the Communist system, breaches of regulations as well as offences, which were really "only" a matter of criminal law, were considered politically motivated and served as a sign of the ideological and political fickleness of the concerned party. Reprisals for the afore-mentioned infractions could be severe and sometimes meant the death penalty. The Austrian view of occupation, Austrian everyday life in the Soviet occupation zone or the most important Topoi from the Red Army is well documented and preserved. This research is owed largely to the individual experiences, impressions and responses of the occupying forces themselves. This work is focused on the EXPERIENCE of the soviet "lifeworld" in Austria, which includes among other things the occupation organization, the discipline and prosecution, the daily work, the everyday live in the barracks or the leisure activities; the PERCEPTION mirrored in written and oral testimonies and the institutionalized as well as private MEMORY in the former Soviet Union. The beginning depicts the macro-level structure and functioning of the Soviet occupational apparatus as well as the historical background. This meticulous retracing of history offers new insights into the question of the perception of the other and the development of specific Topoi.

H. G. Adler (1910-1988)

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ISBN: 9783205781523 Year: Pages: 406 Seiten DOI: 10.26530/oapen_437174 Language: German
Publisher: Böhlau Grant: Austrian Science Fund - D 4005
Subject: Languages and Literatures
Added to DOAB on : 2013-03-27 11:49:12
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The result of my extensive research project is the first comprehensive study on the life and work of H. G. Adler, an important member of the circle around Elias and Veza Canetti, Erich Fried etc., whose ground-breaking scholarly work long overshadowed his reputation as a creative writer. Adler, a German-Jewish writer, born in Prague in 1910, was the inmate of various National Socialist concentration camps (Theresienstadt, Auschwitz) during the Second World War and lived in exile in London from 1947 until his death in 1988. Both as a scholar and as a creative writer, this prolific author is one of the most interesting and most versatile personalities in postwar history. In addition to publishing seminal works on the Holocaust, he left behind an important and to a large extent unpublished body of work, consisting of narrative prose, poetry and drama as well as scholarly articles and books on history, sociology, politics, psychology, language and literature, music, arts, philosophy, theology and Jewish studies. The works of H. G. Adler address central contemporary concerns, cover a large number of areas of interest (European cultural and intellectual history, 20th century German literature, exile studies, Holocaust research etc.) and shall thus - so I hope - attract considerably more attention in the future. This monograph attempts to close a major gap in exile studies that has often been complained about in the past. Its most important topical areas are: H. G. Adler's biography, Theresienstadt (Terezín), exile in England, the development and interdependence of scholarly work and literature, H. G. Adler's position amongst writers such as Karl Kraus, Franz Kafka, George Orwell, Elias Canetti and W. G. Sebald, H. G. Adler as Franz Baermann Steiner's literary executor, H. G. Adler's position amongst London émigrés, H. G. Adler and Austria (despite his exile in England, Adler throughout his life remained closely associated with Austrian culture). This study focuses on Adler's most important and best known works "Theresienstadt 1941-1945" and "Die verheimlichte Wahrheit", books and articles like "Die Dichtung der Prager Schule" and "Der Kampf gegen die 'Endlösung der Judenfrage'", which have hitherto been neglected by academic research, the voluminous autobiographically structured or autobiographically influenced novels "Panorama", "Eine Reise" and "Die unsichtbare Wand" as well as numerous unpublished texts, documents and photographs from Adler's literary estate. It is rounded off by a complete bibliography of H. G. Adler's publication from 1947 to 1988. The time for a monograph about H. G. Adler is ideal: 2008 - 20th anniversary of H. G. Adler's death; 2010 - H. G. Adler's 100th birthday.

Dogface Soldiers.

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ISBN: 9783205202172 Year: Pages: 324 Seiten DOI: 10.26530/oapen_617073 Language: English
Publisher: Böhlau Grant: Austrian Science Fund - PUB 320
Subject: History
Added to DOAB on : 2016-09-24 11:01:16
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Dogface Soldiers is an interdisciplinary and image centered cultural history of the Army of the United States‘ infantry riflemen in the Mediterranean- and European Theaters of Operations of World War II. Its methods transcend the boundaries of conventional historiography and make use of Clifford Geertz’s anthropological method of thick description as well as military used comprehensive analysis methods.

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