Roped Together

Biography and Memoir
Hackl Cover
Am Seil
Erich Hackl
Diogenes Verlag
128pp

Roped Together is the true story of how a Jewish mother and daughter survive the Second World War by hiding in a workshop in Vienna for four years. Hackl uses the daughter’s memories to reconstruct her family history over three generations, creating a story of displacement and survival which explores the bonds of friendship and family.

Regina Steinig and her daughter Lucia are assisted by Reinhold Duschka, a beltmaker by trade and a close friend of the family. Hackl meticulously describes the workshop and the daily life of Regina and Lucia – passing the time by helping Reinhold to make handicrafts while living in constant fear of discovery by neighbours, customers or the postman. In November 1944, after Reinhold’s workshop is damaged in an airstrike, he temporarily moves Regina and Lucia into his summerhouse and then to the cellar room of a friend’s shop, narrowly escaping a roadblock. The book concludes with Lucia’s efforts to gain recognition for Reinhold’s selfless act of heroism, realising her desire to share her story as widely as possible.

Roped Together is an unembellished account of life before, during and after the Second World War, based on real memories and actual events. The work not only paints a vivid picture of the hardships forced upon people by war and separation, but also depicts the ravelling and unravelling of relationships as a fact of life in times of peace and freedom.

 

Erich Hackl has published twelve books, of which six have been translated into English:

Aurora’s Motive

(Alfred Knopf, 1989) Translator: Edna McCown

 

Farewell Sidonia

(Fromm, 1992) Translator: Edna McCown

 

Narratives of Loving Resistance: Two Stories – Love at First Sight / History of a Promise

(Ariadne Press, 2005) Translator: Edward T. Larkin

 

The Wedding in Auschwitz

(Serpents Tail, 2009) Translator: Martin Chalmers

 

Argentina’s Angel

(Piscataqua Press, 2014) Translators: Edward Larkin and Thomas Ahrens

 

Three Tearless Histories

(Doppelhouse Press, 2017) Translator: Mike Mitchell

  • ‘The name Erich Hackl has become a trademark for wonderfully sensitive real-life stories, unique in contemporary German literature.’

    – KulturSPIEGEL

Erich Hackl was born in Steyr, Austria in 1954, studied German and Spanish language and literature and spent a number of years working as a teacher and editor. His writing is based on true stories and has received numerous awards, including the 2017 Human Rights Award of Upper Austria and the 2015 Anton Wildgans Prize awarded by the Federation of Austrian Industry. His books Aurora’s Motive and Farewell Sidonia are on school reading lists. He divides his time between Madrid and Vienna.

Diogenes Verlag AG (Switzerland)

Susanne Bauknecht

bau@diogenes.ch

Tel: +41 (0)44 2548554

www.diogenes.ch

Applications for adult fiction or children’s books should be made to the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, the Arts and Culture in good time before the book goes to print.

For further information, please see our page on translation funding.