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Pushing Time Away: My Grandfather and the Tragedy of Jewish Vienna

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3.69  ·  Rating details ·  86 ratings  ·  9 reviews
"What binds us pushes time away," wrote David Oppenheim to his future wife, Amalie Pollak, on March 24, 1905. Oppenheim, classical scholar, collaborator and then critic of Sigmund Freud, and friend and supporter of Alfred Adler, lived through the heights and depths of Vienna's twentieth-century intellectual and cultural history. He perished in obscurity at a Nazi concentra ...more
Paperback, 254 pages
Published March 1st 2004 by Ecco Press (first published 2003)
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3.69  · 
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 ·  86 ratings  ·  9 reviews


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Jeffrey Green
Apr 24, 2018 rated it liked it
I found this book in a used bookshop in Jerusalem and couldn't resist buying it. I had read quite a few articles by Peter Singer, mainly about animal rights and other issues. He is an eminent philosopher, presently on the faculty of Princeton.
In this book, unlike is philosophical works, he tries to understand his maternal grandfather, David Oppenheim, a direct descendant of the eminent Chief Rabbi of Prague of the same name. Singer's grandfather was a secular intellectual, a teacher of Greek an
...more
Adrian
Dec 29, 2012 added it
The author decides to investigate the life of his maternal grandfather, David Oppenheim, a man he never knew. Singer pieces together Oppenheim's fascinating life through family letters and papers. DO was part of the intellectual class of Vienna playing a part in circles that included Freud and Adler. He married Amalie, an intellectual of some estimation herself. Their wonderful life was shattered by, in succession, WWI (DO served and was twice wounded), recession, rise of Naziism and the German ...more
Emily
Jul 04, 2018 rated it liked it
This book is long, interesting and pulls at the heart-strings. My grandfather lent this book to me to read while i was in Vienna and it was great to recognise the references of the places. The writing was kind of dry and the people described felt bland but it was enjoyable enough. The ending felt a bit lacking and the whole book lacked depth. I liked the historical aspect of the book and the description of the shocking treatment of Jews during and before Nazi annexation of Austria. Just a warnin ...more
Michael Lewyn
Oct 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book is essentially a biography of Singer's maternal grandparents; his grandfather died in a Nazi concentration camp, while his grandmother survived.

The book works best as a love story. The relationship between David Oppenheimer and Amalie Pollak began quite oddly: with David's letters about his homosexual interest in another young man. As David refocused his interests on Amalie, another obstacle asserted herself: Amalie was an observant Jew, while David was an atheist or agnostic. (They ul
...more
Sharon Griffin
Oct 04, 2015 rated it liked it
This was a very philosophical book, and therefore not really what I expected. I was hoping it would be more about their lives during the takeover of Vienna. I have much respect for the author, though for bringing his grandfather, a very educated man, to life for all readers.
karen
Sep 13, 2007 rated it really liked it
A really interesting look at the culture of Vienna in the early part of the 20th Century (Freud, Adler, etc) as well as a poignant tribute to the author's grandfather.
Angela Sorby
Aug 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating peek into the world of psychoanalytic interwar Vienna.
Jessica Feinstein
'Enjoyed' isn't the right word for this book but I am in awe at what Peter (one of my heroes) has achieved. It's a truly wonderful way to remember his grandfather.
Rhiannon
rated it really liked it
Sep 20, 2014
Denise Cumming
This book goes with others about Jewish life in Vienna before and after the Nazi's. Also insight into Freud, Jung and Adler when they were thinking up their big ideas.
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Peter Albert David Singer is an Australian philosopher. He is the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, and laureate professor at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics (CAPPE), University of Melbourne. He specializes in applied ethics, approaching ethical issues from a secular preference utilitarian perspective.

He has served, on two occasions, as chair of phil
...more