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New on the Shelf: Jewish Book Week 2018

Posted by Franziska Zenkel, Friday 16th February, 2018

staff blog

Display of JBW books

In this monthly blog we aim to share with you what’s new on our shelves.

Jewish Book Week 2018 is just around the corner, taking place at Kings Place in London from 3 - 11 March 2018. Jewish Book Week is London's international cultural festival celebrating all writing and ideas that explore life through the Jewish experience.

We picked out from our collection a few titles that will also be presented at the Jewish Book Week by their authors. The topics range from travel experiences in Third Reich to Mussolini’s dictatorship in the first half of the 20th century.

We encourage you to not only to visit The Wiener Library and read the books from the following list but also use the opportunity to meet the authors at Jewish Book Week 2018.


Travellers in the Third Reich by Julia Boyd

Attracted by culture, cuisine and favorable exchange rates, tourism to Germany boomed in the interwar period. Visits to the country appealed particularly to Americans and the British who acted as accidental witnesses to the rising popularity of the Nazi Party, and found themselves being seduced by the propaganda produced by the German state. Julia Boyd’s Travellers in the Third Reich: The Rise of Fascism Through the Eyes of Everyday People draws upon accounts by these foreigners coupled with extracts from her own mother’s diary, to illustrate the changing landscape of German politics in the 1920s and 1930s. By including previously unpublished material, like memoirs and personal travelogues, Boyd gives voice to a vast variety of individuals, from the left-leaning artistic milieu to fascist sympathisers, from students to housewives.

Julia Boyd is speaking at Kings Place, London as part of Jewish Book Week (8 March).


Hannah`s Dress: Berlin 1904-2014 by Pascale Hugues

Shortlisted for the 2014 European Book Prize

Curious to learn more about the street she lived in for over twenty years, French author and publicist Pascale Hugues set upon a journey to learn more about the citizens who had lived in her neighborhood throughout the last century. Looking at a rather ordinary street in Berlin, she unfolds its history between 1904 and 2014, discovering a middle-class neighborhood with a historic Jewish population that experienced the economic crisis of the 1920s as well as the horrors of World War II in Germany.

In Hannah`s Dress: Berlin 1904-2014, Hugues depicts the many different fates of the Jewish residents of the street who face discrimination and persecution in Nazi Germany as well as the difficult process of reintegration in the aftermath of the war. These stories have been meticulously researched, with citations and testimonials of former residents and their families all around the world, from New York to Israel.

Pascale Hugues is speaking at Kings Place, London as part of Jewish Book Week (11 March).


A Bold and Dangerous Family by Caroline Moorhead

Shortlisted for the 2017 Costa Biography Award 

Before Hitler rose to power in Germany, the rise of far-right nationalism and fascism had already led to Benito Mussolini’s seizure of power in Italy. Similar ideas of race and antisemitism as in Germany culminated in the suppression of the opposition and the persecution of large parts of the Italian population.

Caroline Moorhead’s A Bold and Dangerous Family: The Rossellis and the fight against Mussolini tells the story of an extraordinary family who opposed the Mussolini regime. She draws upon letters and manuscripts never previously translated into English and depicts the Rosselli’s, a mother and two sons of Jewish descent, as a family fighting against the regime with underground magazines and sacrifices of their individual freedom, whilst remaining a loving and caring family.

Caroline Moorhead is speaking at Kings Place, London as part of Jewish Book Week (11 March).


1947: When Now Begins by Elisabeth Åsbrink

Elisabeth Åsbrink is the previous winner of the August Prize

In 1947 the war had just ended and the world was supposed to turn a new corner. People tried to find their way back to homes that no longer existed or moved on to a new future across the sea. 1947 was a momentous year, seeing the discovery of the first actual computer bug, Christine Dior`s creation of the New Look and the set-up of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

In 1947, Elisabeth Åsbrink`s father was among the millions of people scattered across Europe looking for a new home. 1947: When Now Begins intertwines global events with key moments from her personal history as the daughter of a Hungarian Holocaust survivor. The previous winner of the August Prize exposes the reader to the difficult dilemmas of refugees after the Second World War as well as the impact of the Nuremberg Trials and insights into how our modern era was shaped.

Elisabeth Åsbrink is speaking at Kings Place, London as part of Jewish Book Week (11 March).


I Must Belong Somewhere by Jonathan Dean

With the Syrian refugee crisis dominating the headlines, journalist Jonathan Dean was inspired to investigate his own family history of war and flight. He tells the stories of his Jewish great-grandfather and grandfather, both of whom had to flee persecution during World War I and II, going from the Ukraine to Austria and ultimately, to Britain. In I Must Belong Somewhere, Dean follows in the steps of his family and travels around Europe, observing the current rise of anti-refugee rhetoric in Germany and far-right politics in Austria, as well as in Britain. He quotes extensively from his relatives’ own accounts and compares modern situations and ideas with those of the past, asking the ever-important question of whether history repeats itself.

Jonathan Dean is speaking at Kings Place, London as part of Jewish Book Week (11 March).


Other books held by The Wiener Library and presented by their authors during the Jewish Book Week include:

We are looking forward to hearing your impressions on the book talks organized for the Jewish Book Week and seeing you in our Reading Room to discover these exciting new titles for yourself!

View the full program for the Jewish Book Week.

We value your suggestions so if you would like us to purchase a book on a particular subject we’d like to hear from you. Just leave a comment below or email us at  

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