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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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The Abolition of Species by Dietmar Dath [ excerpt ]

By Dietmar Dath

“We badgers,” said Georgescu, the green badger, sitting in the red sand in front of the Pielapiel Palace in the City of Sleep, “don’t much like violence. But when it happens, we’re ready.” The palace had not yet been inaugurated. Otherwise rough-spoken Gente such as Georgescu would have been shooed away from the great court. She was a thoroughly practical thinker, this badger, and was considering the strategic, tactical and operative prospects for a new clean- up operation against Homo sapiens sapiens.

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Sajitha R. Shankhar: An Indian Artist’s Journey (Part I)

By Gail Levin

Sajitha R. Shankhar is the rare living woman artist from the South of India to have multiple works in the National Gallery of Modern Art of India. Yet there was no context for her ambition in her family or the traditional south Indian life. Journalists and critics have both praised the autobiographical strain in Sajitha’s art and argued that her work goes beyond her own story.

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North Korea

By Niña Weijers

There were two reasons why the situation didn’t depress me too much. First there was the proximity of the water. I’d often walk over to the bridge opposite the Maritime Museum, where I’d lean against the railing … the water was as drab and impervious as the cargo ships sliding through it. Sometimes I longed to live on such a ship, although I couldn’t tell you why. The second reason was an obsession I’d developed for the other side of the street. It consisted not of houses, but of a long, not very high wall.

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Miklós Erdély, Time Traveler

By Éva Forgács

Hungarian artist Miklós Erdély (1928–1986) would not have thought twice about boarding a spaceship, sweeping aside physical fitness and other pedestrian worries. Space seemed to promise first-hand answers to urgent and intriguing questions… Thinking more like an artist than a scientist, Erdély was taken by the dilemma of black holes, which could signify the same kind of discontinuity in time and space that he thought artwork signified in culture.