The Ravens of Vienna



Adrian Grafe

About The Ravens of Vienna:

Vienna in 1942 is a city overrun with Nazis, profiteers, and spies. A desperate Nazi officer, under pressure from his superiors, bullies Lichtblau, a banker, also a writer, into handing him over some of the bank’s money. He is the object of hatred on the part of Hellroth, who has always been in love with Lichtblau’s wife. As Lichtblau’s and his family’s lives become more and more perilous, they devise a plan for his wife and children to leave Vienna and travel across Europe to England. Once in Oxford, a professor, Tom Oliver, with whom they have been in touch through a Resistance network in Europe, is due to take them in. Tom Oliver is loosely based on the figure of Maurice Bowra (1898-1971), a colorful libertine who played a decisive role in helping Jewish refugees escape war-torn continental Europe and get to Oxford. Lichtblau stays behind in Vienna after his family’s departure, in order to work for the Resistance.

As the Lichtblau party crosses Europe, they encounter danger and get into life-threatening situations, facing them with resourcefulness and sometimes disguises and bluff. They also come across people willing to help them in their onward journey, passing through Germany and France. The Russians are still some distance from Vienna, as Herr Lichtblau, in 1945, torn between his love for his family and his desire to fight the Nazi plague in Vienna, decides to set out for England.

The Ravens of Vienna is the first novel by British author Adrian Grafe. An Oxford graduate, he has published books and articles on literature and music. His poem “Peacock Pie in Paris”, a recreation of the life, during the Occupation, of a young Parisian Jewish girl (who also appears in The Ravens Vienna), was published in We’ll Never Have Paris, an anthology edited by Andrew Gallix (2019). Adrian Grafe lives in Paris and is an English Professor at Université d’Artois.

Imprint: Addison & Highsmith Publishers
300 pp., 6 x 9 in. (229 x 152 mm)
Date of Publication: May 5, 2022
ISBN 978-1-59211-138-1
US$29.99; UK£24.99


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