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A Past Rescued From Oblivion cover

  • Paperback Edition
    • 978-1-5255-5629-6
    • 6.0 x 9.0 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 408 pages
  • Hardcover Edition
    • 978-1-5255-5628-9
    • 6.0 x 9.0 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 408 pages
  • Keywords
    • Autobiography,
    • Womens education,
    • Intellectual life,
    • Jewish history,
    • Croatian childhood,
    • Austrian-Hungarian era,
    • Left-wing worldview

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A Past Rescued From Oblivion
A Self-Portrait of an Audacious Young Woman Defying the Conventions of her Time
by Vilma Vukelić

This book is written in the form of a memoir and covers the events in the life of its author, Vilma Vukelić from her earliest childhood (she was born in 1880) to 15 August 1904, the day her first child, Branko was born. It is a contribution to women’s history in the form of a portrait of an intelligent young woman and a burgeoning feminist resisting social norms imposed on women of her generation. It is a contribution to the history of central and southeastern Europe with its spirited descriptions of the bourgeois life in Osijek, a small provincial town by the River Drava close to the Hungarian-Croatian border, at the outskirts of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It is a contribution to Jewish history, with the specific emphasis on the life in various Jewish settlements in central and eastern Europe. The author describes late nineteenth-century Jewish optimistic attempts towards social integration and full acceptance by the surrounding society—hopes and expectations tragically shattered soon after. It is a lively account of a happy childhood, full of colourful descriptions of a little girl’s discoveries of the wonderful as well as bleak aspects of life. There is also an account of life in an elite boarding school in Vienna and a romantic love story.

Vilma Vukelic (1880-1956) is a recognized Croatian writer whose literary work is entirely written in German, her mother tongue. A Croatian translation of her memoir under the title Tragovi prošlosti was published posthumously in Zagreb in 1994. The present English translation from the German original is the work of her granddaughter Ivana Caccia.


Vilma Vukelić
Ivana Caccia

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