Maja Haderlap

Engel des Vergessens

© Wallstein Verlag, GöttingenMaja Haderlap: Engel des Vergessens © Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen, 2011 A theme only marginally touched on by Peter Handke is at the heart of Maja Haderlap’s book: the only armed resistance to the Nazis of any note within the territory of the Third Reich. It was Carinthian Slovenes who attempted a futile project and were condemned to mass executions for it, something hardly mentioned in Austrian history books. There are vague collective memories of “partisan fighting” and various “executions”, but hardly anyone knows that partisans’ relatives who were not involved were also tortured and systematically deported to concentration camps. (…) Maja Haderlap tells of this historic tragedy on the basis of her own family history. She skilfully uses a wide variety of literary registers, ranging from the child’s perspective at the beginning to historically-informed essay–writing and magically poetic language. (…) She won the most recent Bachmann Prize for an excerpt from her novel Engel des Vergessens. That was the right decision, not only for aesthetic reasons. In view of the general prevalence of Jörg Haider’s views, it is also an unexpected belated expression of justice that the Slovenian minority in Carinthia has been given such attention and that a literary monument has been erected to it.

Franz Haas: „Gegen das Schweigen nach dem Sturm“
© Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 8 October 2011

Maja Haderlap
Engel des Vergessens
Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen, 2011
ISBN 978-3-8353-0953-1
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