Veteran journalist and historian Thomas Weyr, who served as editor of DM News International from 1994 to 2001, has written a new book about Adolf Hitler and the occupation of Vienna.
Published by Oxford University Press, “The Setting of the Pearl, Vienna Under Hitler,” is described by the publisher as “a chilling historical narrative that captures the destruction of Vienna from a vibrant metropolis into a drab provincial town. Weyr argues that the Viennese welcomed the invading Nazis and allowed the swift destruction of a rich Jewish culture and the removal of the city's 200,000 Jews through murder, exile and deportation.
“Drawing on his own experiences as a child in Vienna under Nazi rule in 1938, and those of his parents and friends, Weyr chronicles the changes in education, city government, cultural life and architectural form of the city under Hitler. In the end, the Viennese opted for wealthy Prussian provincialism over cultural and intellectual greatness, and Vienna never regained the global role the city had once played. Today, Weyr concludes, only the monuments remain — beautiful but lifeless.”
Writing for Booklist, Jay Freeman describes “The Setting of the Pearl” as “a superbly written work and an excellent addition to World War II collections.”
In another highly favorable review, Kirkus Reviews writes, “In 1938, that year of Anschluss, Adolf Hitler promised that he would 'give a proper setting' to the pearl that was Vienna. He remade the city indeed, writes Vienna native and now American journalist Weyr, but with far from lustrous results. … A solid, well-written history of a city undone.”
A native of Vienna, Weyr was educated at Columbia University, the Sorbonne and the University of Vienna, where he received his doctorate. He worked many years as a journalist, including his seven years at DM News International, during which he interviewed international direct marketers in German, French, Spanish, Italian and English. He now lives in Bronxville, NY.
“The Setting of the Pearl” is available offline and online at all major booksellers.