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March 08 , 2010

Jews and Intermarriage in Nazi Austria


Evan Burr Bukey explores the experience of intermarried couples - marriages with Jewish and non-Jewish partners - and their children in Vienna after Germany's seizure of Austria in 1938. These families coped with changing regulations that disrupted family life, pitted relatives against each other, and raised profound questions about religious, ethnic, and national identity. Bukey finds that although intermarried couples lived in a state of fear and anxiety, many managed to mitigate, delay, or even escape Nazi sanctions. Drawing on extensive archival research, his study reveals how hundreds of them pursued ingenious strategies to preserve their assets, to improve their 'racial' status, and above all to safeguard the position of their children. It also analyzes cases of intermarried partners who chose divorce as well as persons involved in illicit liaisons with non-Jews. Jews and Intermarriage in Nazi Austria concludes that although most of Vienna's intermarried Jews survived the Holocaust, several hundred Jewish partners were deported to their deaths and children of such couples were frequently subjected to Gestapo harassment.

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