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The Compromise of Return: Viennese Jews after the Holocaust explores the motivations and expectations that inspired Viennese Jews to reestablish lives in their hometown after the devastation and trauma of the Holocaust. Elizabeth Anthony investigates their personal, political, and professional endeavors, revealing the contours of their experiences of returning to a post-Nazi society, with full awareness that most of their fellow Austrians had embraced the Nazi takeover and their country’s unification with Germany—clinging to a collective national identity myth as “first victim” of the Nazis. Anthony weaves together archival documentation with oral histories, interviews, memoirs, and personal correspondence to craft a multilayered, multivoiced narrative of return focused on the immediate postwar years.
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Elizabeth Anthony is the Director of Visiting Scholar Programs at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies. Her book, The Compromise of Return: Viennese Jews after the Holocaust was published by Wayne State University Press in 2021 was a commended finalist for the Wiener Holocaust Library’s Ernst Fraenkel Book Prize. Anthony was co-editor of and a contributor to Freilegungen: Spiegelungen der NS-Verfolgung und ihrer Konsequenzen, Jahrbuch des International Tracing Service, the 2015 Yearbook of the International Tracing Service. She also has published chapters in Lessons and Legacies Volume XII (2017); The Future of Holocaust Memorialization: Confronting Racism, Antisemitism, and Homophobia through Memory Work (2015); and the Nürnberger Institut für NS-Forschung und jüdische Geschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts Jahrbuch 2010. Anthony received her PhD in history at Clark University in 2016 and also holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Maryland. Among a number of fellowship awards, Anthony was the recipient of a Fulbright research grant (Austria) and a Mandel Center research fellowship.
Author Photo credit: Catherine Margaret