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Community Hub and Resource Centre

Wright, Suzanne: A Ballad by Johannes Brahms

Wright, Suzanne: A Ballad by Johannes Brahms

by Suzanne Wright

Susanne Friedlander was born in Vienna, Austria, the daughter of a Jewish father and a Catholic mother. Her happy childhood came to an end with the Anschluss of Austria and Nazi Germany in March 1938, the destruction of the family unit and the forced transport of her father to an unknown destination. The book explores Susanne′s journey as she traces her Jewish ancestry through the changing times of Imperial Vienna in an effort to make sense of the influences of the Enlightenment, anti-Semitism, assimilation, intermarriage, and the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. Stimulated by the experiences of survivor guides at the Holocaust Museum in Melbourne, she reflects on war and liberation, and describes her painful discovery of what really happened to her gentle, musical father and his brothers, all murdered in 1942. She shares her love of mountains and the outdoors in the Austrian Alps and the Australian bush. Out of personal experience, she asks some serious questions about injustice and the effect of racism on the lives of people. The book is an enjoyable read, enriched by happy and sad anecdotes and life experiences spanning three continents.

Purchase for $25