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Bettina Brandt, born in Bonn, Germany. Ph.D. from Harvard University. Senior Lecturer in Comparative Literature at The Pennsylvania State University.
Fellow (1 Sept 2016 - 31 Jan 2017)
How did elderly Jews in Vienna build a community after their children had emigrated and while they were forced to live under an increasingly brutal and eventually murderous Eichmann administration? How did they spend their days? What gave them comfort?
“With Love from Vienna to Pasadena’: Contextualizing Daily Life of Elderly Jews in Vienna after the ‘Anschluss,” analyzes daily Jewish life in Austria after 1938 and focuses on a still underexamined group, namely the desperate situation of elderly Jews in Vienna awaiting emigration in order to be reunited with their children already abroad. It examines their daily administrative struggles and hassles in getting towards the point of emigration and analyzes how these old people kept their dignity in the midst of increasingly horrendous circumstances which very few were able to overcome. It does so through an examination and juxtaposition of hundreds of personal letters, dairies, memoirs, interviews, historical print sources of the Nazi state, information from various historical (holocaust) archives, documentaries, a dozen novels and two art installations.
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