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A miraculous memoir of escape, survival and art in wartime Europe

About the Author

MORIZ SCHEYER (1886-1948) was a significant critic, essayist and travel writer, within the literary and cultural milieu of pre-war Vienna. As arts editor of the city's main newspaper, Neues Wiener Tagblatt, from 1924 until 1938, he knew such figures as Gustav Mahler and Joseph Roth, and was a personal friend of Stefan Zweig and Bruno Walter. In his lifetime he published three books inspired by his travels in the Near East and South America, as well as three volumes of literary-historical essays. Scheyer called his memoir of his wartime experiences 'A Survivor', and seems to have sought its publication. After his death in 1949, however, his stepson destroyed the manuscript. Or thought he did. Recently Scheyer's grandson, P. N. Singer, discovered a carbon copy in his father's attic. Asylum is Singer's translation of the manuscript, to which he has added an epilogue on the people, events and context. Learn more about Singer's family and the manuscript at


An extraordinary rediscovered manuscript, written in hiding by a friend of Stefan Zweig, which evokes the realities of the Holocaust and the French Occupation more vividly than almost anything I've read. -- Jonathan Coe "Try to understand me," Moriz Scheyer begs the future readers of his memoir in 1944. And we do, leaving it drained, but exhilarated by the description of how he roamed an unfriendly Europe, stateless. With the publication of this mesmerizing book, his search for asylum might just be over. -- Ronald C. Rosbottom, Amherst College, Author * When Paris Went Dark: The City of Light under German Occupatikon, 1940-1944 *

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