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Lunch with Charlotte by Leon Berger
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Lunch with Charlotte (edition 2012)

by Leon Berger

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3112357,052 (4.14)4
Member:ninichkeh
Title:Lunch with Charlotte
Authors:Leon Berger
Info:Grey Gecko Press (2012), Paperback, 404 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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Lunch with Charlotte by Leon Berger

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Charlotte Urban, born Lisolette Goldberger in Vienna in 1919, faced her adolescence as a Jew in Austria as Hitler and the Nazi party gained influence. She was an only child and her father traveled a great deal because of work requirements leaving her mother to care for her.
As the war closed in, her father tried to get her mother to leave, but her mother, not wanting to leave her parents, friends, and the only home she had ever known, refused.. Eventually the borders closed and her father was caught on one side, she and her mother on the other.
Leon Berger met Charlotte in Montreal and lunched with her every Friday. During those visits, she told him about her parents, their life in Austria, the Nazi take over, and what happened to her and her family before, during and after the war. While she was never arrested and taken to a concentration camp, she told him about what happened to the people who were transported there.
Eventually she told him about a major event involving her mother that influenced her own life and how she viewed her relationship with her mother from that point onward. She had never told anyone else about that event but telling it helped her understand more about herself and her parents.
At the end of each chapter, Berger analyzes the particular visit.
The story of one woman, it book was well-written. However, there were a couple discrepancies: Why would someone named “Hugo Kohn” be identified as not being Jewish.
The book refers to “Jeannette Altwegg, the reigning British and world champion” without stating in what sport she was the champion.
It mentions that “she now had sufficient funds to obtain the health care she needed.” She was living in Canada which has universal health care. What was the problem?
Interesting observations:
“Her father told her that running away like a rabbit was an acceptable strategy and that the huge rabbit population was a testimony to how well it worked.”
Lisolette’s family was not religious. Regarding his religious practices (“Why should I join a synagogue if I can talk to [God] in my kitchen if I want?” a rebbe told her father, “It’s the synagogues and yeshivas which maintain the faith, which keep us together as a community.” “No,...,it’s the rest of the world that does that. The persecute all Jews whatever our personal beliefs and that’s why we stick together.” “All the prayer and devotion in the universe hadn’t saved the Hasidim, who were being sent to the camps just like everyone else.”
This book was a free Amazon download. ( )
  Judiex | Dec 10, 2015 |
I finished reading this book long time ago,.I didn’t write a review right away, because I could find a right words to describe how emotional was this for me..
I read lots books (and watched movies) about WW2, Lunch with Charlotte-it’s not about WW2(as chronically event) - this is about FEELINGS and DESTINY woman, during her long life. How betrayal could affect the life (happened young Charlotte).
This is very good story, I would strongly recommend to read the book. ( )
  Ma_Bu | Apr 9, 2013 |
This book had me on an emotional roller-coaster. I cried throughout most of it, with some periods of happiness and hope. I have read many books about the World War II/Holocaust period (both fiction and non-fiction) and this is by far the best. ( )
  sringle1202 | Feb 26, 2013 |
A story of another time. war and all the horrors that that implies,are told in a very understandable way. all though we perhaps rather not know this book brings it to you in a interesting format. i had lost this book in hyperspace but have managed to download it again and 2nd time reading it i have enjoyed and taken in more of the story. a looksee
at the depression of the 1900's is an eyeopener
  Carmenmaranda | Feb 11, 2013 |
Leon Berger wrote this novel based on a long friendship and many conversations with the protagonist, Charlotte Urban. Like Charlotte, I was born in Vienna, although some years after her. We lived in the same neighborhood, had our lives changed by the Nazi annexation of Austria. We barely managed to escape from war-time Vienna in the fall of 1941, and Berger's vivid descriptions brought it all back: the sounds, the sights and the fears; the bullying; the hated red white and black flags, the hated and feared brownshirts; the curfews and the limitations and the random arrests of friends and relatives. Charlotte herself comes to life in Berger's writing as a strong, brave and charming woman, and her early days in the U.S. (where we finally arrived in 1943) brought back more memories. This is the story of an interesting person, but also a reminder of the Nazi crimes in Europe. A valuable as well as a riveting narrative. ( )
  ninichkeh | Jan 23, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0985440082, Paperback)

A PORTION OF THE PROCEEDS FROM EVERY SALE OF THIS BOOK ARE DONATED TO THE HOLOCAUST MUSEUM OF HOUSTON, TEXAS.

Every Friday for the last 25 years of her life, I had lunch with Charlotte and each week she told me more of her extraordinary story. To all appearances, she was a strong and dignified survivor, with old-world courtesies, a twinkling sense of humor, and a lilting Austrian syntax. Yet deep within, she'd been scarred by a profound personal trauma.

Finally, just before she died at the age of 91, she chose to entrust me with this profound secret, and all at once I understood how it had affected her entire adult life. This is a story of friendship and strength, of courage and betrayal. It is an epic tale set against the backdrop of history.

GET THE Kindle EBOOK FREE WHEN YOU BUY ANY PRINT EDITION. Just forward your order confirmation email to sales@greygeckopress.com.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:03 -0400)

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Grey Gecko Press

2 editions of this book were published by Grey Gecko Press.

Editions: 0985440031, 0985440082

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