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Prague in Danger: The Years of German Occupation, 1939-45: Memories and History, Terror and Resistance, Theater and Jazz, Film and Poetry, Politics and War
by Peter Demetz
A dramatic account of life in Czechoslovakia's great capital during the Nazi Protectorate
With this successor book to Prague in Black and Gold, his account of more than a thousand years of Central European history, the great scholar Peter Demetz focuses on just six short years--a tormented, tragic, and unforgettable time. He was living in Prague then--a "first-degree half-J ...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published April 14th 2009 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
(first published April 15th 2008)
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Jun 15, 2008 Ed rated it 2 of 5 stars · review of another edition
Decently written, informative account of the Nazi occupation of Prague during WWII. Demetz includes personal accounts (he was there, a teenage half-Jew) as well as literary-historical accounts (this is his academic focus as a prof in the States). Both are insightful and fun to read, but both seem a bit on the apocryphal side and some of his efforts to mix teenage whimsy and sexual awkwardness into his personal story seem strained, overly self-conscious, and ultimately superfluous. After reading ...more
All the correct ingredients are in this memoir - a rare look inside Nazi-occupied Prague, a discussion of how the Prague avant-garde of the 1930s and 1940s morphed into the post-WW2 Czech experimental art scene, and some personal family anecdotes from a man that helped define Czech literature. Unfortunately, the elements simply don't come together in fully coherent fashion. Demetz's stories of growing up a jazz-loving teen in occupied Prague make this book worth the effort, and he also explains ...more