Essays zu Leben und Wirken eines transnationalen Historikers - Essays on the Life and Work of a Transnational Historian
Edited By Martina Kaller, David Mayer and Berthold Molden
The essays collected in this volume are dedicated to the historian and Latin Americanist Friedrich Katz (1927-2010). They are based on a symposium held in his honour in Vienna in the autumn of 2011 and bring together varying perspectives of his life and work. As one of the great social historians of our time, Friedrich Katz had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the sources relevant to Latin America’s twentieth century history. His studies of the Mexican Revolution rank foremost among contributions to the field. More than anyone before he succeeded in relating the specifics of Mexico’s history to the broader processes of global history. That same global history impacted repeatedly on Katz’ own life: he was forced to leave Vienna as a child and moved with his family to Mexico, via Berlin, Paris and New York; he returned to Vienna after 1945 only to leave again for East Berlin before finally settling in Chicago.
Friedrich Katz – Memories of the Mexican Exile Christian Kloyber
The following thoughts about Friedrich Katz draw on deeply personal sources – Katz’ own memories, those of his parents (especially his mother, Bronia) and those of his companions during his exile in Mexico. My access to these memo- ries is owed to a friendship cultivated from afar and over many years and to a shared outlook on history, a rapport that flourished both in Mexico and during our occasional meetings in Viennese cafés. Throughout this exchange, the main issue was always Mexico, a social, political, cultural and historical cauldron that was both familiar and distant, but above all always in the very forefront of both our minds. Our main talking points were the Mexican Revolution and exile as a source of cultural identity, thus entwining each other’s life story with our com- mon interests in our discussion of concrete examples. “You will see, Mexico will never let you go”, was the unerring prognosis given to me by Bronia Katz in 1977, shortly before my first visit. This convic- tion of hers was also what set me up for my documentation of Austrian (and German-speaking European) exiles in Mexico between 1938 and 1945.1 So the decisive impulse for this study came directly from Bronia Katz, the long-time associate of the Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance (Dokumentations- archiv des österreichischen Widerstandes, DÖW), whose own life mirrored the general history of expulsion, exile in Mexico and return to Austria. To see and preserve these fragments of political resistance, personal fate and courage...
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