Edith Kurzweil
Full Circle: A Memoir.
Transaction, 287 pages, $49.95

On a gray Vienna afternoon in November 1938, thirteen-year-old Edith Weisz heard a commotion in the street below the family apartment. Eight months before, “miles and miles” of S.S. troops and brownshirts had marched down the avenue tossing brisk salutes as airplanes dropped pamphlets asking Austrians to welcome Hitler as he decreed the annexation of their nation. One day after Austria’s chancellor had resigned, Edith’s mother learned that their brand-new Ford had been requisitioned, and soon her father, a marble and stone merchant, landed in jail when a rival swore out a warrant against him for “unfair competition.” He won his release by selling his business for a pittance and leaving the country (the option was Dachau).

Earlier, when the troops first marched in, Edith...


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