The Lost Café Schindler is the story, told in relation to one family, of Jews in Austria before and during World War 2.
Meriel Schindler was born and brought up in England, with an Austrian Jewish father. Meriel had a strained relationship with her father Kurt, who was something of a Walter Mitty character, and claimed to be related to Oskar Schindler (of Schindler’s Ark fame) and Franz Kafka amongst others. After Kurt’s death in 2017, Meriel found various papers and souvenirs of Kurt’s life in Austria and set off to investigate her family and the truth (or otherwise) of her father’s many claims.
While the book is a family history, it also provides an insight to the Jewish population in Austria, and indeed the role of Austria during World War 2 – something that we don’t generally learn much about. In-depth research, and generally clear writing contribute to an entertaining read that will fill in some gaps in World War II knowledge and understanding.
Recommended by Cate