Revolution in Wien. Das Tagebuch eines jüdischen Journalisten über die Ereignisse 1848
Rescued from the trash heap twice by laborers, a foreign-language manuscript reaches Melk Abbey, where years later a priest transcribes the Hebrew alphabet into Latin: a detailed diary of the 1848 Revolution written in German. Torn between “radical” and “rational” positions, a Jewish journalist writes in an explicit, exciting and highly complex manner about his very private sensitivities. His penchant for fine irony does not abandon him even in the most dangerous situations. – A patriot with increasingly ailing loyalty to the emperor.
He observes the revolutionary events literally “on his doorstep” on Jägerzeile (today’s Praterstraße) and, as a journalist, is well-informed about political contexts throughout Europe. Describing numerous episodes from his social, political and private spheres, he repeatedly expresses his longing for civil equality for Jews (which belongs to the goals of the Viennese revolutionaries). His diary provides gripping insights into everyday life in revolutionary Vienna, which, in the autumn of 1848, despite all the colorfulness, must also be burdensome: “Regrettable cases of assassination against individual guards have resulted again this night. It is terrible how far uncertainty has now come. At a later evening hour, one can be murdered at any time.”
The writing, language and style suggest a liberal-minded, German-speaking Jew, who could be identified as Benjamin Kewall, based on the family lists of tolerated Jews in Vienna. He wrote for several well-known newspapers and journals, such as the Allgemeine Österreichische Zeitung, Der Wanderer, Lloyd [B&C1] and the Constitutionelle Zeitung[B&C2] . From 1853 he also published several books, e.g., the polemic “Immer und überall die Juden!”
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