First and only Dutch edition of Bettauer’s most celebrated and tragically prophetic novel, first published in German in 1922 as Die Stadt ohne Juden (The City Without Jews).
Hugo Bettauer (1872–1925) was born in Baden bei Wien (Austria) to Jewish parents. He led an adventurous life and emigrated to the United States twice. He worked as a journalist and editor in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Vienna and New York.
He was a prolific author of crime novels and campaigned for social reforms, including modern divorce law, abortion and the legality of homosexuality. Otto Rothstock, a member of the Nazi party, assassinated Bettauer in 1925.
Today, Bettauer is best remembered for Die Stadt ohne Juden, a novel satirizing antisemitism. In it, a politician expels all Jews from Austria, to great applause from the population. However, without the Jews the economy collapses, giving rise to a new movement demanding the return of the Jews. Eventually the expulsion law is repealed and the Jews return to Austria.
The novel, published to critical acclaim, became a huge bestseller and was made into a feature film in 1924, directed by Hans Karl Breslauer.
This Dutch edition, published in the fateful year of 1933, was translated and edited by Philip Johan Godlieb Roest, who became editor of a Dutch resistance newspaper during the Second World War. As is clear from the blurb, this edition was prompted by the massive rise of antisemitism in Nazi Germany. In other words, this book was intended as a warning.
The City Without Jews: Dutch edition of Bettauer’s novel satirizing antisemitism
De stad zonder Joden. Een roman van overmorgen door Hugo Bettauer. Geautoriseerde bewerking van Ph. J.G. Roest.
Alphen a.d. Rijn, A.C. de Haan, .