Abstract: Against the background of the rich tradition of Austrian crime literature, this article discusses novels by Anna Mitgutsch, Doron Rabinovici, and Vladimir Vertlib as paradigmatic of post-Shoah crime fiction. Common features include international settings reminiscent of the exile routes of Jewish Austrians and the centrality of the Holocaust against which the transgressions committed by characters of the younger generations are measured. The crimes of the latter, which include murder, espionage, treason, theft, and adultery, appear trivial when compared to the horrors of the Nazi era. The guilty parties are individuals and can be held accountable, and their transgressions, although psychologically linked to the past, are of no historical consequence. Indicative of the post-Shoah mentality, however, are the emotional and boundary issues that second- and third-generation authors ascribe to their characters and to their quest for identity on an international scale, which in the works under discussion includes Middle Eastern perspectives.
Journal of Austrian Studies – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Nov 27, 2014
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