Academic journal article German Quarterly

"Wie ein Schatten Ging Ich Meinen Weg Zu Ende"-Emigrantinnen Aus Wissenschaft Und Kunst. Autobiographische Rückblenden Aus Dem Jahr 1940

Academic journal article German Quarterly

"Wie ein Schatten Ging Ich Meinen Weg Zu Ende"-Emigrantinnen Aus Wissenschaft Und Kunst. Autobiographische Rückblenden Aus Dem Jahr 1940

Article excerpt

Bartmann, Sylke, ed. "Wieein Schattengingichmeinen WegzuEnde "-Emigrantinnen aus Wissenschaft und Kunst. Autobiographische Rückblenden aus dem Jahr 1940. Opladen: Budrich UniPress, 2013. 248 pp. euro29.90 (paperback).

This volume consists of nine biographical accounts of Austrian and German women who had been engaged in artistic and academic activity before fleeing the Nazis. These accounts draw on a well known set of autobiographical documents submitted in response to a prize competition initiated late in 1939 by three Harvard scholars (including Gordon Allport). The call for the competition asked people to describe their personal lives both before and after 1933 and the changes brought about by the Nazi accession to power. Some 260 submissions were received, more than a third of them from Austrian refugees, slightly under a third from women. For obvious reasons, these accounts have been utilized by various scholars on a number of occasions. As Bartmann emphasizes in her introduction, they are of particular historical value insofar as they were written fairly soon after the events they describe and they are not yet overshadowed by the Shoah or shaped by the conventions that would subsequently be established for narratives of this kind. This point should not be overstated, of course, lest one create the misapprehension that there is ever such a thing as an entirely authentic recollection not yet formed by conventions of any kind. …

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