Reading for Me

The Books I Have Read…..Just for Me

#16: Ghost Waltz (Ingeborg Day)

on October 7, 2014

After many weeks, I finally finished reading Ghost Waltz. This family memoir traces one family’s history in 1940s Austria. Central to the story is Ingeborg’s feelings about her father and his transition from police officer to SS officer. Did her father agree with Nazi ideologies? Did he work for the SS simply to provide for his family and avoid trouble in a turbulent time?

A secondary issue of Ingeborg’s feelings about all things Jewish is also examined. She considers herself an anti-Semite, despite her revulsion of the prejudice. Ingeborg cannot ascertain if her thoughts about Yiddish phrases, yarmulkes, and greedy Jews were taught to her in early childhood or are a genetic predisposition. Unfortunately, the memoir does not provide a clear answer to this question.

Those who have followed my reading adventures know that I am fascinated with the World War II era. While I found it interesting to examine an Austrian family who did not necessarily want to align themselves with Nazism, I found Ghost Waltz to be a bit pedantic. The writing was stilted and failed to draw the reader into the author’s world. This was definitely a book I finished reading simply because I had started it. I wouldn’t recommend it to other readers.

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