Badenheim Nineteen-thirty-nine

Front Cover
David R. Godine Publisher, 1980 - Fiction - 148 pages

It is spring 1939. And Badenheim, a resort town vaguely in the orbit of Vienna, is preparing for its summer season. The vacationers arrive as they always have, a sampling of Jewish middle-class life: the impresario Dr. Pappenheim, his musicians, and their conductor; the bubbly Frau Tsauberblit; the historian, Dr. Fussholdt, and his much younger wife; the "readers," twins with a passion for Rilke; a child prodigy; a commercial traveler; a rabbi. The list waxes as the summer wanes. To receive them in the town are the pharmacist and his worried wife, the hotelier and his large staff, the pastry shop owner and his irritable baker, Sally and Gertie (two prostitutes), and, mysteriously, the bland inspectors from the "Sanitation Department." The story unfolds as matter-of-factly as a Chekhov play. Finally, the vacationers, whose numbers have now increased by the forced crowding-in of other Jews hardly on vacation, become de facto prisoners in their familiar resort; their "vacation" begins to take on the lineaments of undefined disaster.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - PilgrimJess - LibraryThing

""You could see that they wanted to die, but Death did not seem to want them yet . . . they had retreated into the bushes and waited for Death, and because Death did not come for them they came out ... Read full review

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User Review  - TimBazzett - LibraryThing

Aharon Appelfeld's BADENHEIM 1939 (translated from the Hebrew by Dalya Bilu) comes across as an almost surreal parable of how Europe's Jews were quietly rounded up and shipped off to camps. The small ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
11
Section 3
15
Section 4
17
Section 5
35
Section 6
60
Section 7
64
Section 8
73
Section 10
84
Section 11
96
Section 12
100
Section 13
106
Section 14
110
Section 15
112
Section 16
129
Copyright

Section 9
77

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About the author (1980)

Aharon Appelfeld was born in a town near Czernowitz, Romania on February 16, 1932. When he was 8 years old, he and his father endured a forced march to a labor camp in Ukraine. He escaped the camp and spent the next three years as a shepherd working for various peasants and always concealing his Jewish identity. He then joined the Soviet Army as a cook's helper. After World War II, he spent months in a refugee camp in Italy before going to Palestine in 1946. He worked on a kibbutz, fought in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, and studied philosophy at Hebrew University. The Holocaust was the main subject of his books. His first novel, The Skin and the Gown, was published in 1971. His other works include Badenheim 1939, The Age of Wonders, To the Land of the Cattails, The Healer, The Immortal Bartfuss, For Every Sin, and Writing and the Holocaust. He received the Israel Prize for literature, The Prime Minister's Prize for Creative Writing, and two Anne Frank Literary Prizes. He taught Hebrew literature for many years at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, in Beersheba. He died on January 4, 2018 at the age of 85.

Dalya Bilu is the translator of A. B. Yehoshua, Aharon Appelfeld, and many others. She has been awarded numerous prizes, including the Israel Culture and Education Ministry Prize for Translation, and the Jewish Book Council Award for Hebrew-English Translation.

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