After Survival: One Man's Mission in the Cause of Memory

Overview

Leon Zelman is in love with Vienna, his adopted city, where he has carved out a life for himself as a "public Jew," despite the city's anti-Semitic legacy. In Leon Zelman's memoir, we learn how he came to choose Vienna and how he walked a political tightrope for fifty years in postwar Austria. He is founding editor and publisher of Das Judische Echo, a distinguished journal of culture and politics, and co-founder of the Jewish Welcome Service, whose original goal was to document the presence of a vital Jewish ...
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Overview

Leon Zelman is in love with Vienna, his adopted city, where he has carved out a life for himself as a "public Jew," despite the city's anti-Semitic legacy. In Leon Zelman's memoir, we learn how he came to choose Vienna and how he walked a political tightrope for fifty years in postwar Austria. He is founding editor and publisher of Das Judische Echo, a distinguished journal of culture and politics, and co-founder of the Jewish Welcome Service, whose original goal was to document the presence of a vital Jewish community after the Holocaust and, later, to establish student exchange programs between Austria and Israel. In his memoir, we experience his unique perspective on the psychology of displacement and on postwar politics - and we read of his experiences with Bruno Kreisky, the Waldheim affair, the World Jewish Congress, and Edgar Bronfman. However, of his many achievements, Zelman is most proud of providing a bridge between Jews (past and present) and new generations of Austrians, and in recognition of this, he was awarded the Gold Medal of Honor of the City of Vienna in 1994.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This gripping memoir by Zelman (b. 1928), a journalist and director of the Israel Department at the Austrian Travel Agency in Vienna, deals with both how he survived the Holocaust and how he carried on with life after the war in Vienna. After his father was shot by the Nazis, the author fled to Lodz from the Polish shtetl of Szczekociny with his mother and young brother, Shayek. Zelman vividly describes their struggle to survive in the ghetto, where his mother eventually starved to death. Zelman and Shayek were shipped to Auschwitz and later were evacuated to another camp, where Shayek perished. The book is most interesting, however, for what Zelman has to say about life in Austria after the war, when he decided to dedicate himself to the reestablishment of a Jewish community in Vienna. The author details how he became president of the Association of Jewish University Students and worked with the Jewish Welcome Service to encourage and help Jews who had fled Austria to return for a visit. Of particular interest is Zelman's account of how he came to recognize the virulent anti-Semitism that, he found, still exists in Austria, as well as his perspective on Kurt Waldheim, the former U.N. secretary-general whose conduct during the war came under attack when he ran forand wonAustria's presidency. (Feb.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780841913820
  • Publisher: Holmes & Meier Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/15/1996
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

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