Harper Perennial, June 24, 2014, first edition in 1980.
Genre: Memoir, Children of WWII, Nazi Party.
Rating: 2 Stars for okay.
Source: Free copy from Harper Perennial in exchange for a review. All reviews expressed are from my own opinion.
Under a pseudonym, Ingeborg Day, wrote another book which was later made into a movie, Nine and a Half Weeks.
A bio of author and review of books: Who Was the Real Woman behind "Nine and a Half Weeks?"
Ghost Waltz is available at:
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Ingeborg Seiler Day, was born in Graz, Austria in 1940. During World War II, her parents were Nazi's. Her father was a member of the Nazi party. Ingeborg had few memories of her earliest of years which was during the war. As a child growing up during the post war years her parents did not discuss the war, if Ingeborg asked a question, her parents rebuffed. A year spent in America as a teenage exchange student introduced her to American culture, the American textbook story of World War II, and her future husband. When she came home to Austria, life was irrevocably changed because of the influence she'd had in America.
In her later years she wrote two books: Ghost Waltz and Nine and a Half Weeks. These books were memoirs of her life at certain stages. Neither book explores in detail her marriage, or children.
Ghost Waltz, explores Ingeborg Day coming to terms with her parents involvement in the Nazi party, anti-semitism and the Holocaust, and Austria's involvement in the war.
When the book begins Ingeborg explains she had two sets of parents. One set during the war, another set after the war. She felt as if she was "adopted". I felt this was an interesting way of explaining her parents role as Nazi's during the war years. I don't feel she "came to terms" with her parents nor her birth country. "It" plagued her all of her life. She felt a guilt and a shame which was not hers to carry. I wondered how much counseling she received during life? She died young at age 70 by suicide.
Ghost Waltz is a sad book, with no happiness in-between the covers.
Ghost Waltz explores a topic I've not read before, adult children of Germany-Austria Nazi Party members. Further, her parents antisemitism spilled over into her own ideology. But, I do not feel Ghost Waltz is a complete study in this area of history. Ingeborg Day's memoir gives the reader a small specimen. She is not an expressive person, she hides more than reveals.
The book left me unsettled with more questions than answers. I felt Ingeborg Day lived a hidden life. Concealed behind an exterior of rough sex, which was a mask hiding a fear of what others would think about the real Ingeborg and where she'd come from, as well as the inability to be truly intimate.
Ghost Waltz is a haunting portrayal of a life which could have been so much more. I'm sad she carried what her parents had believed in and done to her own grave.