German, History, literature, memory, Translation, trauma, Women

From Nazi Austria to New York’s 9/11 Attacks: Ilse Aichinger’s “Improbable Journeys”

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Submission by Dr Geoff Wilkes

Ilse Aichinger (1921-2016) was one of the most significant prose writers to emerge in Austria after the Second World War. Her work was acknowledged by numerous national and international awards, and has received considerable attention from scholars around the world. Aichinger was particularly known for her novel Die gröβere Hoffnung (The Greater Hope; 1948), which was prompted by her experiences in Vienna in 1938-45. During those years, Ilse and her mother Berta (one of the first women to study Medicine in Vienna) were forced to leave their flat and work in government-assigned jobs, her twin sister Helga emigrated to England on the last Kindertransport, and her grandmother Gisela, aunt Erna and uncle Felix were deported, and murdered in a concentration camp. Continue reading “From Nazi Austria to New York’s 9/11 Attacks: Ilse Aichinger’s “Improbable Journeys””