Return to Vienna (1983)

Genres - History  |   Sub-Genres - Social History  |   Run Time - 95 min.  |  
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Journalist Franz Weintraub (aka Franz West) recounts the changes in himself and in Austria in the years after World War I when many Jews emigrated from Germany to live in Vienna, including Weintraub's own family. Between 1924 and 1934, he was caught up in the social activism and left-leaning philosophies of many in the Jewish community, and at the same time experienced daily insults from non-Jews, and street attacks on Jews were not uncommon in Vienna during those years. When his family moved to England in the 1930s, Weintraub changed his name to West, abandoned his university career for journalism, and gradually became estranged from his Jewish beliefs, supporting leftist causes more and more until he finally joined the Communist Party. In 1968, Soviet and Eastern European soldiers invaded Prague to put down demonstrations, repeating the same tactics used in the Soviet invasion of Hungary 12 years earlier. Weintraub -- now West -- could not agree with the repression of dissidents or of blatant human rights violations and permanently left the Communist Party at that point.