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Last Waltz in Vienna

3.93  ·  Rating Details  ·  90 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
On February 26, 1938, 17-year-old Georg Klaar took his girlfriend Lisl to his first ball at the Konzerthaus. His family was proudly Austrian; they were also Jewish, and two weeks later came the German Anschluss. This incredibly affecting account of Nazi brutality towards the Jews includes a previously unpublished post-war letter from the author’s uncle to a friend who had ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published May 4th 2007 by Pan Macmillan (first published September 17th 1981)
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The Man Without Qualities by Robert MusilThe Age of Insight by Eric R. KandelA Nervous Splendor by Frederic MortonFin-de-Siècle Vienna by Carl E. SchorskeSchubert and His Vienna by Charles Osborne
113th out of 199 books — 129 voters
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33rd out of 61 books — 22 voters

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Feb 06, 2015 Barbara rated it it was amazing
This is a first hand account of the fate of a family of Jewish bankers in Vienna. I found in it all that I finally despaired of finding in "The Hare With Amber Eyes". We are engaged by the author's passionate but critical approach, his high intelligence, understanding of the social and political conditions and, not least, his brilliant writing. I have the sequel "Berlin Days" but I must try to get hold of "Last Waltz in Vienna" - it's a few years since I read it and it's a book to re-read. (les ...more
Franziska Self fisken
Mar 04, 2015 Franziska Self fisken rated it really liked it
A wonderful book giving a very personal insight into Viennese life and what it was to be an Austrian Jew before and during the Holocaust. Many characters are vividly depicted, and seem to live on after I finished the book. His writing is fantastic considering English is his second language after German.

I like the way he presents a very matter of fact account of many day to day incidents. He is not a sensation-seeker and he doesn't even seem to hate the Jew haters, although he hated them enough t
Jun 16, 2014 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On Saturday, February 26, 1938, 17-year-old Georg Klaar took his girlfriend Lisl to his first ball at the Konzerthaus. His family were proudly Austrian. They were also Jewish. Just two weeks later came the Anschluss. A family had been condemned to death by genocide. This new edition of George Clares incredibly affecting account of Nazi brutality towards the Jews includes a previously unpublished post-war letter from his uncle to a friend who had escaped to Scotland. This moving epistle passes on ...more
From the start you realise that this story is going to have a tragic end and I found it most touching when the author mentioned with regret the fact that he had never been given the chance to relate to his parents as an adult.
But in fact this story is not really about the Klaar family in WWII and he tells very little of his own story. Rather it is a history of his family in Austria, how they were treated as Jews, how they became Austrians and also how they were lulled into a false security and i
Mar 02, 2015 Catherine rated it really liked it
A fascinating insight to the lives and lost culture of Austria's capital city. It follows the family and friends of Georg Klaar before and after the second world war. A slightly harrowing read, which leaves you wondering how you might have behaved in the same situation.
Jori Richardson
"Last Waltz in Vienna" is a memoir by a Jewish man who was involved with the events leading up to, and involving, World War II in Vienna, Austria.
As much as I wanted to enjoy it, the author's writing style often gave me the feeling that I was being left out. Once in awhile, there were certain moments of warmth that shone through the rest of the text. These were mainly childhood stories about family and everyday experiences that you would expect when growing up. It was here that the author seemed
Jan 26, 2016 Christine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Last Waltz in vienna personalizes the millions who perished during the Hitler era. It is an important book; it explains why such horrors happen--because the victims, for too long, believe they "belong" to the country they live in.
Feb 26, 2013 Janesivocha rated it really liked it
A lovely well written book which gives an understanding of Austria at the time of the Anschluss and one family's background in the 100 years from 1842 to 1942

Mr Clare evoked a Vienna of "Strauss waltzes and easy charm" that was a pleasure to visit with him.

I read this book immediately after reading My Father's Country by Wibke Bruhns so it was very interesting 'seeing the other side of the coin' so to speak
Jan 07, 2013 Susan rated it liked it
Because of the subject matter - the Holocaust as seen through the lens of one Austrian Jewish family - I was predisposed to appreciate
the author's mission to put a very real face on the extermination of 6 million Jews. The author writes well, but includes too much, too detailed
information on his family so the effect is lost
on the reader. The book lacked the power of the horrific and inevitable ending.
Maria Lichtmann
Apr 18, 2013 Maria Lichtmann rated it it was amazing
An incredibly poignant book with George Clare telling the story of his multi-ethnic family, the Klars. Beautiful memories of life before Vienna was little by little turned over to the Nazis, the rise of Hitler and the inability of Austrians to stop the Aunschluss. His family and their devotion to their son makes the greatest impression on the reader. A book of spirit and grace.
Apr 30, 2011 AC added it
Shelves: modernism, vienna
Thumbed through this, and appeared a bit dull to my dim and impatient eyes. Will have to go back to Schorske. Others may like this. Family memoirs of an Austrian Jew, a long-time newspaper (?) editor on Fleet Street, starting with his great-grandfather, Hermann (b. 1812), and ending with the catastrophes that befell his immediate family after the Anschlüss.
Roger Briggs
Sep 24, 2012 Roger Briggs rated it it was amazing
A wonderfully written account of a family's struggle to survive Austria's Nazi knowing the Klaars we know the countless struggles of Jewish families during this awful time. It is heartrending story told in loving prose by a son, George Klaar.
Nov 10, 2009 David rated it it was amazing
This was raved about when it first came out, and the quality of the writing stands the test of time. Bittersweet, poignant, tragic of course, an Anne Frank's Diary writ large.
Jan 04, 2014 Orla rated it really liked it
So moving but I got a little weighed down by Austrian politics. That said, it was a fascinating insight into WWII from the Austrian Jewish perspective.
Jun 24, 2011 Alysha rated it liked it
Shelves: classics
I found it difficult to stay awake while reading it but it's a truly important book and well worth the read.
Deborah Pickstone
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in memorry 2 4 Mar 25, 2014 01:47PM  
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