War and Mayhem

Reflections of a Viennese Physician
  • Published: July 2006
  • Format: Perfect Bound Softcover(B/W)
  • Pages: 356
  • Size: 6x9
  • ISBN: 9781552122907
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War and Mayhem is a retrospective account of the events of the first half of the twentieth century as experienced by the citizens of Vienna and comes in three parts.

The first part provides the historical material which was culled from the most up to date scholarly publications on this topic. The second part presents the personal experiences of the author growing up in a "dysfunctional" family during the Nazi occupation. It shows what it was really like to live under a totalitarian regime, especially when one was, in addition, "non-Aryan." It also illustrates the terrible toll WWII had taken on lives and property and describes how ordinary citizens coped during Nazi and Soviet occupation. The third part discusses in more detail the ideas which motivated Hitler, the antecedents to the Holocaust and how the solutions arrived at during the twentieth century will inevitably become problems in the twenty first.

The book, written in simple language with an Austrian accent, is well illustrated and intended for the general public. More specifically: WWII veterans of the Allied forces may be interested in getting a glimpse of what it was like on the enemy side. College students can benefit by realizing that history is not just something "about dead white males" but a force which directly affects people's lives, including their own in the future. Austrian Mittelschul students in the Oberstufe might enjoy reading about the lives of their grandparents in the English language thereby learning history as well as English. Jewish readers might want to know why there was such a massive aversion against the Jewish "race."

There is no doubt that some of the opinions presented will be regarded as controversial but unless one sees and understands both sides of the coin no progress toward a more humane world is possible. The author's hope is that by showing past follies people might become more open minded, less swayed by propaganda and will conduct themselves in their daily lives in a manner which may eventually allow the emergence of a saner world.

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