The Brunner Family.
A European-Jewish History. Hohenems-Trieste-Vienna

English edition: This is a package with the German edition and a separate text volume in English. | Hannes Sulzenbacher | Bucher Druck und Verlag 2021 | 240 pages | Softcover mit Klappen | 95 illustrations | 17 x 24 cm | € 29,80 | ISBN dt. 978-3-99018-573-5 | ISBN engl. 978-3-99018-575-9

Despite a modest lineage as butchers and cattle dealers in Hohenems, the Jewish Brunner family experienced a steep social and cultural rise: at the beginning of the 19th century, almost an entire generation left Vorarlberg to seek their fortune elsewhere. Their destination was the then-Austrian port city of Trieste, whose rapid development as a Habsburg Mediterranean metropolis also brought the Brunners a period of splendor. Economic migrants became economic magnates, and wholesalers eventually became upper-class citizens.

The history of large parts of Europe is reflected in a family that soon lived scattered across the continent and yet remained in close contact with each other and with Hohenems. With the development of Europe into a continent of nationalism and mutual hatred, with the devastation of two world wars and the expulsion and annihilation of the European Jews, the heyday of the Brunner family also ended. Parts of the family were scattered all over the world. But members of the family still meet regularly, somewhere on the globe, or in Hohenems. The starting point for this book is the exhibition “The Last Europeans. Jewish Perspectives on the Crises of an Idea” at the Jewish Museum Hohenems-and an extensive permanent loan to the museum: the estate of Carlo Alberto Brunner, consisting of letters and documents, memorabilia, and everyday objects from many generations of the Brunner family. They provide a glimpse into 300 years of Jewish family history and a European era that ended in war and destruction.

Hannes Sulzenbacher, born 1968 in Innsbruck, is co-director of QWIEN – Center for Queer History (Vienna) and freelance exhibition curator. Since 2014 he is head of the scientific-curatorial team of the new installation of the Austrian exhibition at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.

A book to the exhibition “The Last Europeans” in the Jewish Museum Hohenems, Oct 4, 2020 – Oct 3, 2021.