9781590519172

And in the Vienna Woods the Trees Remain

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781590519172

  • ISBN10:

    1590519175

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2020-01-21
  • Publisher: Other Press

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Summary

Winner of the August Prize, the story of the complicated long-distance relationship between a Jewish child and his forlorn Viennese parents after he was sent to Sweden in 1939, and the unexpected friendship the boy developed with the future founder of IKEA, a Nazi activist.
 
Otto Ullmann, a Jewish boy, was sent from Austria to Sweden right before the outbreak of World War II. Despite the huge Swedish resistance to Jewish refugees, thirteen-year-old Otto was granted permission to enter the country—all in accordance with the Swedish archbishop’s secret plan to save Jews on condition that they convert to Christianity. Otto found work at the Kamprad family’s farm in the province of Småland and there became close friends with Ingvar Kamprad, who would grow up to be the founder of IKEA. At the same time, however, Ingvar was actively engaged in Nazi organizations and a great supporter of the fascist Per Engdahl. Meanwhile, Otto’s parents remained trapped in Vienna, and the last letters he received were sent from Theresienstadt.
 
With thorough research, including personal files initiated by the predecessor to today’s Swedish Security Service (SÄPO) and more than 500 letters, Elisabeth Åsbrink illustrates how Swedish society was infused with anti-Semitism, and how families are shattered by war and asylum politics.

Author Biography

Elisabeth Åsbrink is a journalist and author from Sweden and previously served as the chairperson of PEN Sweden. Her book, And in the Vienna Woods the Trees Remain, received worldwide attention for revealing new information about IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad's ties to Nazism. It won several awards, including the August Prize for Best Swedish Non-Fiction Book of the Year, the Danish-Swedish Cultural Fund Prize, and Poland's Ryszard Kapuściński Award for Literary Reportage. Åsbrink made her debut as a playwright with RÄLS, based on the minutes taken at a meeting convened by Hermann Göring in 1938, and has since written four plays.

Saskia Vogel is from Los Angeles and lives in Berlin, where she works as a writer and Swedish-to-English literary translator. Her 2019 debut novel, Permission, has been translated into four languages. She has written on themes of gender, power and the art of translation for publications such as Granta, The White Review, The Offing, and The Paris Review Daily. Her translations include work by Lina Wolff, Katrine Marçal, Karolina Ramqvist, Johannes Anyuru and the modernist eroticist Rut Hillarp.

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