The combination of the current issue of the quarterly – Issue 71 – and George Clare’s Last Waltz in Vienna makes an ideal introduction to Slightly Foxed.
In this issue: Andrew Joynes goes back to the Middle Ages • Margaret Drabble gets to the truth of the matter with Doris Lessing • John Smart dreams of cheese • Rachel Kelly finds consolation in poetry • Charles Elliott follows a paper trail • Clarissa Burden falls for Inspector Grant • Ken Haigh takes the Tolkien test • Caroline Jackson rides with the Irish RM • Patrick Welland reads an elegy to a family, and much more besides . . .
SF Edition, Last Waltz in Vienna (No. 56)
In February 1938, the grand Konzerthaus in Vienna was in full, glorious swing; bands were playing, there was dancing and singing and plenty of beer. It was the first ball ever attended by the 17-year-old Georg Klaar, and he stayed until the very last waltz. But on 11 March, lorries began thundering into the streets, filled with uniformed men waving swastikas and shouting ‘Death to Jews’. Austria was now betrayed and had been annexed by the German Third Reich. Barely four years later, Georg Klaar had become George Clare and was serving in the British army, and his parents had been rounded up and taken to Auschwitz. Only with hindsight can George discern the complex reasons for his family’s destruction, and for the whole appalling waste of war. This is a profoundly moving, honest and compassionate memoir, remarkably devoid of self-pity, though not of anger.