The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance, by Edmund de Waal

The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance, by Edmund de Waal, is an interesting somewhat fictionalized family memoir. De Waal basically researches the background of his great-grandparents’ generation, the out-of-Odessa fabulously wealthy Ephrussi family of Jewish bankers. Based in Vienna, the family is basically expropriated by the Nazis after the Anschluss in 1938. It is a breezy overview of the 1870-1940 period, with an interesting opening and coda as one of the family ends up living in Japan after the occupation.

Since I have been re-connecting with relatives in Wales, product of the same wave of Jewish emigration out of Kaunas, Lithuania area during the 1870s, the book was quite interesting. Just as some de Waal’s went to South Africa, so apparently did some of my great-grandparents’ generation, though we have lost touch with them.

About mkevane

Economist at Santa Clara University and Director of Friends of African Village Libraries.
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