Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals and People with Disabilities During WWII: Background information when reading The Quiet Twin

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The Quiet Twin

A Novel

by Dan Vyleta

The Quiet Twin
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  • Paperback:
    Feb 2012, 384 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Mark James

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Beyond the Book:
Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals and People with Disabilities During WWII

In 1938, the Nazis annexed Austria in what is known as the Anschluss, the "link-up" or "union". In their pursuit of a "pure" Aryan master race, they immediately began arresting anyone of difference or who might oppose them, especially Jews. According to the Vienna City Administration website, Nazi-incited pogroms in November 1938 essentially obliterated Jewish culture in Vienna.

When Dan Vyleta's The Quiet Twin begins, most of Vienna's Jews had already been deported or had fled. In one scene, he leads the reader through an abandoned house; the Jewish owners had "left... gone since winter." The edifice is an apocalyptic urbanscape with "broken windows and shattered light bulbs, angry slogans scrawled across the floor." The main character, Dr. Beer, remembers that the neighbors were the "same people who had witnessed the windows being smashed and the symbols being daubed, and done nothing about it. People like him." The vandalism and fire leave their mark on the vacant building, and...

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