Category: Interviews

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My School Years After the War

By Peter Sichrovsky

I had no problems with anti-Semitism, neither in elementary school nor later in high school. The teachers stayed behind, often talking about their experiences during the war, some of them also open about being in the SS, but they left me alone. Life was far more difficult for my parents. … My mother did not want to talk to me about any of the former Wehrmacht officers who were my teachers now.

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Writing and Resistance: Interview with Erich Hackl

At the annual German Studies Association conference in September, the Austrian Cultural Forum featured Austrian author Erich Hackl’s Three Tearless Histories (DoppelHouse Press, 2017). The book is a collection of three personal histories about individuals affected by mid-century fascism, including the Austrian resistance fighter Gisela “Gisi” Tschofenig, who was killed in 1945, six days prior to the liberalization of the Schörgenhub work education camp where she was detained. In “Tschofenig: The Name Behind the Street,” Hackl recounts her improbable wedding in the Dachau concentration camp and attempts to resurrect her accomplishments amidst a family squabble that threatens to bury her forever.

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Heda Margolius Kovály’s Exceptional Life Navigating a Century of Horrors

Based on interviews with award-winning filmmaker Helena Treštíková, Hitler, Stalin and I (DoppelHouse Press, 2018) is the oral history of Heda Margolius Kovály. In the book Heda recounts her experiences under fascist and communist oppression in 20th century Czechoslovakia. In the following interview, Treštíková and Kovály’s son and translator Ivan Margolius give more context to the book and its publication.

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A Woman of Valor in the French Resistance

Frida Wattenberg: Remembering the Vél d’Hiv Raid of July 16–17, 1942
By Joanne D. Gilbert

As I sat on a hard bench reading a brochure in the crowded lobby of Le Mémorial de la Shoah, the Holocaust Museum in Paris, I sensed a change in the atmosphere and looked up. A sturdy, compact, elderly woman strode purposefully through the lobby. Her alert, intense, brown eyes, strong jaw line, and burst of closely cropped, snowy white hair belied her 88 years. The smiling crowd seemed to both part for and be drawn to her. She nodded back graciously, returning smiles, greetings, and hugs….

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Survive the Future: A Lesson on Megastructures with Glen Small

Interview by Anne Hars

A founder of Sci-Arc, Glen Small is “one of the dear eccentrics of American architecture … and an early leader in the movement for green building,” according to Michael Sorkin. In a series of email exchanges with Anne Hars, Small sheds light on present conditions of urbanity and ecological crisis through a brief lesson on the megastructure movement in architecture.

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Navigating Space and History in Paint with Liat Yossifor

By Liliana Rodrigues

LR – I understand that your new work is done in three-days per painting. I am curious about this time constraint you impose on yourself. In the past, fresco painters had to deal with the properties of freshly laid wet plaster and pigments; thus, they were forced to paint quickly. What does it mean for you, as a contemporary painter, to set a time constraint on yourself?

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El Escribir y la Resistencia: Entrevista con Erich Hackl

En la conferencia anual de la German Studies Association (EEUU) en septiembre, el Foro Cultural Austriaco presentó Three Tearless Histories (DoppelHouse Press, 2017) por autor austriaco Erich Hackl. El libro es una colección de tres historias personales que tratan con individuos afectados por el fascismo de mediados de siglo, incluida la luchadora por la resistencia austriaca Gisela “Gisi” Tschofenig, quien fue asesinada en 1945, seis días antes de la liberalización del campo Schörgenhub donde estaba detenido. En “Tschofenig: El nombre detrás de la calle,” Hackl relata la improbable boda de Gisi en el campo de concentración de Dachau e intenta resucitar los logros de ella a pesar de una pelea familiar que amenaza con enterrarla para siempre.