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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
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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

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  42 ratings  ·  5 reviews
During the years 1939-1945, Peter Demetz was living in Prague - as a 'first-degree half-Jew' according to the Nazis - and he joins an objective chronicle of the city under Nazi occupation to his personal memories of that tormented, tragic period.
Hardcover, 274 pages
Published April 15th 2008 by Farrar Straus Giroux
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3.62  · 
Rating details
 ·  42 ratings  ·  5 reviews


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Ed
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
Doug Garnett
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
This was a thoroughly enjoyable book. A superb combination of reviewing the cultural history of Prague under the German occupation. But also, personal stories from Peter Demetz that added a level of fascination I hadn’t expected. And, kept it from being a dull cultural history - but an excellent history book.

Highly recommended.
Tom
Apr 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting mix of historical and personal views

While sometimes the name dropping of "famous" Czech figures is often a bit dense, the personal recollections mixed with the historical record is an interesting documentation of a life and country upended.
Loring Wirbel
Jul 03, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Doug Walters
Dec 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
I've been to Prague twice, and it still amazes me just how much the city was spared during the chaos of World War II. Demetz's book is an incredible story of what it was like to be there during the years of German occupation in the City of 1000 Spires. The author talks about his own experiences during occupation, his time in a small labor camp, the fate of several other Czech authors and poets, his friends and family, and at times the book elicits some truly emotional imagery.
A must-read for an
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