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Alice's Book

ebook / ISBN-13: 9781529416336

Price: £20

ON SALE: 12th May 2022

Genre: Humanities / History / Regional & National History / European History

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Hardcover
The story of a Jewish chef whose bestselling cookbook was expropriated under the Nazi regime, and who had to rebuild her life in England and the United States

Alice Urbach had her own cooking school in Vienna, but in 1938 she was forced to flee to England, like so many other Jews. Her younger son was imprisoned in Dachau, and her older son, having emigrated to the United States, became an intelligence officer fighting the Nazis underground.

What happened to the books that were too valuable to burn?

Returning to the ruins of Vienna in the late 1940s, she discovers that her bestselling cookbook is published under someone else’s name. Now, eighty years later, the historian Karina Urbach – Alice’s granddaughter – sets out to uncover the truth behind the stolen cookbook, and tells the story of a family blown apart by the Nazi regime, of a woman who, with her unwavering passion for cooking, survived the horror and losses of the Holocaust to begin a new life in America.

Impeccably researched and incredibly moving, Alice’s Book sheds light on an untold chapter in the history of Nazi crimes against Jewish non-fiction authors

“Urbach not only reconstructs individual fates from family correspondence and tape interviews from her grandmother’s estate, she also draws on a myriad of archives. […] The fact that she manages this without sentimentality is an achievement in itself. The facts are moving enough” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

“A remarkable book” Spiegel

Translated from the German by Jamie Bulloch

Reviews

What the historian has brought to light is perfect film material - persecution, murder, fraud, imprisonment, escape, rescue, friendship, secret service activities, rise, fall and a new beginning . . . And Urbach's writing is exciting, cinematic.
Susanne Kippenberger, Tagespiegel
A remarkable book . . . The author describes the slow expropriation of Alice Urbach - a fate she shared with many Jewish authors.
Martin Doerry, Spiegel
Karina Urbach not only reconstructs individual fates from family correspondence and tape interviews from her grandmother's estate, she also draws on a myriad of archives. [...] The fact that she - a traditional historian who is aware of the dangers of a lack of emotional distance - manages this without sentimentality is an achievement in itself. The facts are moving enough.
Walter Schübler, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Exciting, moving, informative - this family memoir belongs on the bestseller list. Simply terrific!
Mike Altwicker, WDR
Exciting, touching and insightful: Karina Urbach has written a great book about a strong woman who could not be shaken by anything and who turned her little happiness into happiness for others
Heribert Prantl, Sueddeutsche Zeitung