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Lost Letters from Vienna

Sue Course



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01 November 2019
Biography; Memoirs
In 1977, Sue Course discovered a box of airmail letters in the dark recesses of a cupboard, written in German.

Her German was rusty, but she could see that most were from her parents and grandparents and were written from the time of the Nazi invasion of Vienna in 1938. The letters revealed a gripping tale of their war and that of their extended family, the stories of those who escaped and eventually resettled across the globe, and their experiences in that process.

The story was fleshed out through the later discovery of diaries and far-flung family members' war memoirs. For Sue's family, their entitlement to be a part of Viennese society and a citizen of the Austrian nation itself was lost when the Nazis annexed her country.

Sue was just four when she arrived in Australia with her family, too young to appreciate the penurious circumstances of their life at a time where German-speaking foreigners were viewed as 'enemy aliens', and where there was little immediate opportunity for non-English-speaking professionals to find respect or employment in their professions. Antipodean life was a far cry from the genteel experience of being raised in Vienna, and this story documents superbly the displacement, dislocation and immense struggle for those who have had to flee their countries, with its destructive consequences: loss of identity, culture, career, family and social networks, or any acknowledgement of value to the host society.
By:   Sue Course
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm, 
ISBN:   9781925893052
ISBN 10:   1925893057
Pages:   250
Publication Date:   01 November 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Reviews for Lost Letters from Vienna

Lost Letters from Vienna evokes several different epochs: the grand life of wealthy Jewish families in Vienna before the First World War; the coming of the Nazis and the desperate efforts to find a way out; and life as refugee immigrants in Melbourne. Sue Course's story parallels, in many ways, that of my own family; but by weaving it into candid accounts of her personal life and those of her relatives, she has written a lively and engaging book. - Peter Singer AC, Professor of Bioethics, Princeton University and University of Melbourne Sue Course's book is a unique insight into the discrimination and suffering of generations of Jewish families in Europe in the first half of the 20th century. It is drawn from 86 years of letters between members of her family who fled the Nazis and sought refuge in four continents. As one of the last remaining members of the migrant Jewish families born in pre-war Vienna, Sue tells a refugee family's story of love, heartbreak, death, amazing escapes, hard work, success, love and ultimately happiness and fulfilment. - Michael Smith, former editor, The Age

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