Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Badenheim 1939” as Want to Read:
Badenheim 1939
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Badenheim 1939

by
3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  523 Ratings  ·  52 Reviews

It is the spring of 1939. In months Europe will be Hitler's, and Badenheim, a resort town vaguely in the orbit of Vienna, is preparing for its annual summer season. Soon the vacationers arrive, as they always have, a sample of Jewish middle-class life. The story unfolds as a matter-of-factly as a Chekhov play, its characters so deeply held by their defensive trivia that th

...more
Paperback, 148 pages
Published March 13th 1995 by David R. Godine Publisher (first published 1978)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Badenheim 1939, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Badenheim 1939

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,057)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Zuberino
হলোকসট সাহিতয যে অলপ কিছু পড়েছি, একেকজন লেখকের একেকরকম দৃষটিকোণ থেকে। আরট সপিগেলমযানের বিখযাত কমিক উপনযাস "মাউস" ছিল কলপনায় অভিনব - গযাস চেমবার থেকে কপাল-জোরে বেঁচে যাওয়া পিতা-মাতার শিলপী সনতানের হলোকসট-ভাবনা। চেক লেখক জিরি ভাইল একদম ভেতর থেকে দেখেছিলেন যজঞ - নাৎসি-কবলিত পরাগে একজন মরিয়া ইহুদির লুকিয়ে থাকার গলপ "লাইফ উইথ আ ষটার"। অরধাহার-অনাহারে মরে যাবে পরয়োজনে কিনতু তবুও সবেচছায় কযামপের টরেনের জনযে সে নাম লেখাবে না, কোনকরমেই সে তেরেজিনে যা-বে-না। এলি ভিজেলের ততোধিক বিখযাত "নাইট" উপনযাসের শুরুত ...more
Kris McCracken
Jul 10, 2011 Kris McCracken rated it really liked it
an odd, dreamlike novel set in an imagined Austrian resort town at the beginning of the Second World War as groups of middle-class Jews arrive to spend another idyllic summer vacation at an annual arts festival.

There is a fair whiff of Kafka in Appelfeld's restrained prose, and the incongruity of the characters’ struggle to maintain (simulate?) normality against the intimations of the approaching catastrophe. Although the reader has no choice but factor in the impending Holocaust as both the his
...more
Susan
Apr 01, 2008 Susan rated it did not like it
Shelves: jewish-interest
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tracy Shapley
The story took place right before the Holocaust began, at a Jewish vacation resort. One day, the local authorities shut the place down, but forced those visiting to stay in the resort. Over time, they brought many local Jewish citizens to live within the now guarded gates of the resort.

The people in the resort initially thought they were pretty damn lucky. They were able to remain at their favorite resort for free! Authorities brought in cases of food, medications and other necessities and the '
...more
Yair Ben-Zvi
Jan 15, 2013 Yair Ben-Zvi rated it liked it
A Japanese proverb states that 'The nail that sticks out gets hammered down'. Now, let's play the perspective game, imbuing some life into the nails and into the hammer. The nails sticking out, whether deliberately or not, the hammer coming down, steady, inevitable, fast or slow, the impact is in the wings and it won't be softened or lessened, it can't, these things don't factor in. Now, what to make of it? What, if anything, can be done?

With that salvo fired, let me say that this book is a bit
...more
Lorri
Nov 25, 2012 Lorri rated it it was amazing
The idyllic resort town of Badenheim is not all it appears to be in 1939. Aharon Appelfeld’s novel, Badenheim 1939, is an extremely beautifully written novel, yet between the pages lurks an underlying sense of doom and gloom.

Badenheim is a resort town somewhere in Austria where Jews go to vacation. It is known for its arts, poetry readings and for its music festival which is headed by one Dr. Pappenheim. He has been busy trying to get musicians from Vienna to come to Badenheim to participate in
...more
Gülay Cansever
Jun 18, 2016 Gülay Cansever rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-kitap
hitler döneminde bir Avusturya kasabası. Polonya'ya döneceklerinin hayaline kapılan Yahudiler. Ve aslında onları bekleyen başka bir şey...
yazım dilini çok beğendim. kitabın kısa olması , sıkmaması bence artı puan kazandırdı yazara.
Audrey
Dec 05, 2014 Audrey added it
I read this book with my Jewish Lit group at my synagogue. It w as chilling to read. It takes place in Badenheim, an Austrian resort spa. In the summer of 1939 the authorities begin preparations to isolate the Jews in the community-both residents and guests- and move them to the death camps. In the beginning of the process, t he Jews are told they must register and take this as a sign of special treatment. But as time passes they are more and more isolated from the world. Phone service is cut . ...more
Piperitapitta
Sono un po' perplessa da questo mio primo incontro con Aharon Appelfeld.
La lettura della prima pagina mi ha irritata: frasi cortissime, periodi semplici: soggetto, predicato verbale, punto. Una sensazione di interruzione continua.
Ho pensato Se tutto cos saranno le centoquarantuno pagine pi lunghe della storia!, poi per fortuna la narrazione (ed io con lei) ha preso respiro ed partita la storia.
Una storia semplice, ma mai chiara, come avvolta dalla foschia, da un velo che spostandosi, o dissolv
...more
Frank
Sep 13, 2011 Frank rated it it was ok
This is not for me. I'm sure it's great, it certainly has quite a reputation. But this dreamlike kind of narrative doesn't do it for me. That endless sequence of short declarative statements, a certain dreamlike lack of narrative cohesion, plus the lack of focus on one character or a narrow set of characters, the lack of insight in any inner lives...

Let's say this is a genre that just isn't to my taste, however well Appelfeld probably succeeds in what he's trying to do in that genre.
Pity.
Deborah
Aug 12, 2015 Deborah rated it it was amazing
The author provides what is, on the surface, a simply-written description of the activities of Jewish residents and guests in an Austrian resort town in 1939. Yet in some way which I can't describe, he clearly imparts the sense of impending doom which the reader knows awaits them. I cringed throughout reading this short and excellent book.
Andrew Carlson
May 07, 2011 Andrew Carlson rated it it was amazing
This is such a beautiful book. Set in an Austrian spa town in, erm, 1939. It's the last summer for the Jewish merchant vacationers who come to this town every year. Officials from the sanitation department start to register Jews. Nobody really pays attention. Within a couple weeks, Jews have been quarantined and everyone else has left. They hang out at this hotel and wait for information: no one knows what's going on or what to expect. The book is sort of one long, eerie calm-before-the-storm mo ...more
Kam
May 20, 2014 Kam rated it liked it
not what was promised. I wanted it to be some gradual creepy thing, where the war and horribleness gradually leaks into this place. From the get go, stuff was kind of strange, so "strange-*er*" was pretty much just more strange. Felt a little bit like Strindberg, kind of expressionistic.
Things not said, and general oddness, throughout the two thirds that I did read.
Hermien
Jan 04, 2012 Hermien rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hebrew, jewish
I was quite disturbed by this book. The fact that the outcome is known gives you almost a voyeuristic feeling. The characters came across to me as quite human, albeit very naive. Some of them see themselves as Austrians first, Jewish second, and blame the problem on the Ostjuden. I think the reaction of the characters to the events is not unrealistic. If you are middle class, grow up in a country where there is law and order and bureaucracy is lauded, it probably does take a while to realise som ...more
Bogdan
Apr 13, 2015 Bogdan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russian-breeze
I am not sure if a proper full review will follow, due to lack of time to write it. In few words, I liked the novel very much because it gave the possibility to understand what the Jewish community might have felt during the period just before the Nazis unleashed their program of mass extermination.

Beside this, I felt like the novel lacked a proper climax and conflict resolution. But the Kafkian situation makes up for this slight miss.
Lisa
Feb 09, 2014 Lisa rated it really liked it
A quick novel; I'm glad that I know my WWII history as it would have been hard to understand what was happening without it. A good read, sad example of how the human mind can create such denial and cognitive dissonance in order to survive.
Allison
Feb 18, 2012 Allison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me a while to really like this book which I did from about the middle to the end. It has a surreal, magic realist tenor that is not my favorite. My visual of the place--a holiday resort somewhere in Austria--was as a Florine Stettheimer painting: many microcosms depicted throughout the canvas--vivid, wildly colorful, kooky and slightly skewed scenarios mutually played out by people not of this world. The setting in a holiday resort, where one expects relaxation and a festive environment, ...more
Sandra Cohen
Jul 18, 2015 Sandra Cohen rated it really liked it
A beautifully written short novel of life for the Jews in Badenheim on the cusp of the end of the world as they know it. We know how it will end and right to the last line they ignore it.
Abigail Browngoehl
May 08, 2016 Abigail Browngoehl rated it really liked it
hmmm. this book didn't mean much to me on its own, but class discussion about it made me appreciate it more. also read it on holocaust remembrance day; so much to think about.
Carolle
Mar 31, 2016 Carolle rated it it was amazing
This is the first Appelfeld book I have read. His writing is stark, serious and full of humanity. Such a well written book and such style - the way he build up the tension.
Lucy
Jan 14, 2015 Lucy rated it really liked it
A haunting allegorical tale. Like looking at a series of photos by August Sander, knowing the terrible fate that awaits the innocents.
Carol
Mar 25, 2014 Carol rated it it was amazing
An amazing little horror story. Should be taught in school.
Jill Cordry
Apr 26, 2015 Jill Cordry rated it did not like it
Didn't get it at all.
Tim
Jul 29, 2011 Tim rated it it was amazing
Badenheim 1939 tells the tale of an Austrian resort town that slides into a prison for the Jewish population. It is a fable and the innocence and foolishness of the characters before the current and coming disasters remind us how easy it is to deny the horrors we so want to ignore, how much we value our way of life, our habits, and our opinions. A particularly Jewish tale with universal meaning. Simple in format and writing, but achingly difficult to read.
Beth
Nov 14, 2013 Beth rated it did not like it
Shelves: physical-copy
I don't know if this book was poorly written or if it suffered from poor translation. I think it might be a combination of both issues. The narrative, such that it was, was extremely choppy, there was no flow whatsoever. The characters were one-dimensional at best. I couldn't even remember who some of the characters were, that's how little impression they made. The concept had so much potential, but it did not live up to it at all.
Melinda
Aug 03, 2013 Melinda rated it really liked it
A brief novel set in a town in Austria which becomes a way station for Jews about to be deported to Poland, to concentration camps or death camps. Mostly they are in denial about what lies ahead. But how could they have known? What lay ahead was not knowable, was unbelievable, was beyond human experience. But the reader knows what awaits them. A gem of a book, albeit a horrifying story.
Anna
Mar 21, 2009 Anna rated it liked it
A book similiar to Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain. Last summer before World War II - there are blooming tree, pink icecreams and trivial conversations. Rather nice book.
Mike
Nov 01, 2013 Mike rated it really liked it
A lovely short book about a group of Jews in an Austrian resort town in 1939, who are about to be engulfed in the horror of the Holocaust. Appelfeld writes this as a fable, not a realistic novel, which is a very effective approach for about 100 pages. Sadly, the book is 150 pages long. Still, a sad, achingly beautiful depiction of a doomed people.
Brett Byron
Jul 21, 2008 Brett Byron rated it it was amazing
Set in a German spa during the time of the expanding Sanitation Department of the resort town calls on the vacationing Jew to register... The prose is simple, detached, ironic; the hotel band plays, lovers stroll green parks, the Final Solution at first seems nothing more threatening than a slightly offbeat postcard or street sign.
Ck1054
Nov 10, 2008 Ck1054 rated it it was ok
A book/play about a Jewish resort town outside of Vienna in 1939. Although this piece of historical fiction became more interesting as I read, I had a difficult time getting though this short book. If you are into historical fiction particularly that of WWII this would be a good read, but it wasn't my cup of tea.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 35 36 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A History of the Holocaust
  • Paul Celan: Poet, Survivor, Jew
  • The Last of the Just
  • Dry Tears: The Story of a Lost Childhood
  • Walter Benjamin: The Story of a Friendship (New York Review Books Classics)
  • The Jewish Husband
  • The Blue Mountain
  • Four Stories
  • Displaced Persons
  • A Scrap of Time and Other Stories
  • Soul of Wood
  • The Shawl
  • Götz and Meyer
  • Limassol
  • The Time of the Uprooted
  • The Pity of It All: A Portrait of the German-Jewish Epoch 1743-1933
  • The Wandering Jews
  • Panther In The Basement
32566
AHARON APPELFELD is the author of more than forty works of fiction and nonfiction, including Until the Dawn's Light and The Iron Tracks (both winners of the National Jewish Book Award) and The Story of a Life (winner of the Prix Médicis Étranger). Other honors he has received include the Giovanni Bocaccio Literary Prize, the Nelly Sachs Prize, the Israel Prize, the Bialik Prize, the Independent Fo ...more
More about Aharon Appelfeld...

Share This Book



No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »