Goodbye Vienna!

Stephen S. Kalmar, Author Strawberry Hill Press $9.95 (251p) ISBN 978-0-89407-074-7
Kalmar's story of his Jewish upbringing, family life and university days in pre-World War II Vienna provides a personal testimony to a destroyed way of life. But this autobiography falls short because the author offers more self-indulgent musings than memories that illustrate the extraordinary events of the time. A narrow escape from certain disaster should make for a compelling story, and Goodbye Vienna! is strongest when Kalmar recounts the fast-thinking maneuvers and twists of fate that enabled him to obtain visas and leave Europe. There are occasional ironic moments here, too: when Kalmar and his wife reach Mexico, the first ""native'' they meet turns out to be a fellow refugee. Unfortunately, Kalmar does not bring a needed sensitivity and thoughtfulness to the task of conveying that tumultuous period. (October)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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