Asylum: A Survivor's Flight from Nazi-Occupied Vienna Through Wartime France

Asylum: A Survivor's Flight from Nazi-Occupied Vienna Through Wartime France


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A recently discovered account of an Austrian Jewish writer's flight, persecution, and clandestine life in wartime France.

As arts editor for one of Vienna's principal newspapers, Moriz Scheyer knew many of the city's foremost artists, and was an important literary journalist. The occupation of the Nazis forced him from both job and home. In 1943, while hiding in France, Scheyer began drafting what was to become this book. Tracing events from the Anschluss in Vienna, through life in Paris and unoccupied France, including a period in a French concentration camp, contact with the Resistance, and clandestine life in a convent caring for mentally disabled women, he gives an extraordinarily vivid account of the events and experience of persecution.

After Scheyer's death in 1949, his stepson, disliking the book's anti-German rhetoric, destroyed the manuscript. Or thought he did. Recently, a carbon copy was found in the family's attic by P.N. Singer, Scheyer's step-grandson, who has translated and provided an epilogue.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316272896
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 04/18/2017
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 1,175,306
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Moriz Scheyer (1886-1949) was arts editor of one of Vienna's main newspapers from 1924 until his expulsion in 1938. A personal friend of Stefan Zweig, in his own lifetime he published three books of travel writing, and three volumes of literary-historical essays. He died in France in 1949.

P. N. Singer is Scheyer's step-grandson, a writer, and translator.

Table of Contents

Introduction P. N. Singer vii

Moriz Scheyer's Manuscript

Author's foreword 1

1 The 'Anschluss' 5

2 Breathing again: Switzerland 16

3 France: beloved France 20

4 Earning the first hundred francs 26

5 The men in berets 31

6 The 'Drôle de Guerre' 35

7 Paris, ghost of an enchanted city 42

8 Paths of the Exodus 45

9 'Armistice' 51

10 Paris under the German boot 57

11 The French … and the French 61

12 From 'the Israelites' to 'the Jew' 71

13 Stay of execution 77

14 'For examination of your situation' 79

15 Hut 8 86

16 Another stay of execution 101

17 'Zone libre' 104

18 Voiron 113

19 Nine gendarmes versus five Jews 118

20 Caserne Bizanet, Grenoble 123

21 A toast 132

22 Escape to Switzerland 137

28 A telegram 147

24 Labarde 152

25 Blessed are the poor in spirit 157

26 Nuns 164

27 A glimpse through a peephole 170

28 Music 179

29 Eugene le Roy 183

30 Informers 187

31 In place of a chapter on the Resistance 191

32 They're coming - they're not coming - they're coming! 196

33 The morning of 6th June 1944 204

34 Summer 207

35 The first step into freedom 213

36 Carlos 226

37 In memory of my comrades from the concentration camp at Beaune-la-Rolande 231

38 The undeserving survivors 237

39 Still in Labarde: but free 245

Afterword 252

Translator's Epilogue 257

Moriz Scheyer: Writer 282

People Mentioned in the Text 293

A Chronology of Events: 1933-1945 301

Further Reading 304

Translator's Acknowledgements 306

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