Book look: Disasters & war diaries

Devastating thunderstorms, destructive earthquakes and powerful volcano eruptions – a new book presents a history of the worst natural disasters in the history of mankind. Hans-Dieter Otto – the author of several books concerning juridical issues and “Verpasste Siege” about defeats of the Austrian military – recounts the history of pre-Christian disasters but also writes about more recent occurrences. On 200 pages, “Über uns kein Himmel? Die größten Katastrophen der Menschheitsgeschichte” – which features several illustrations – analyses the substantial effects of the quakes and tornados on the affected regions and their inhabitants. Furthermore, Otto takes a look at the future impact of climate change.

Über uns kein Himmel? Die größten Katastrophen der Menschheitsgeschichte
By Hans-Dieter Otto
Published by Residenz Verlag (

Hundreds of letters, diaries, photographs and propaganda posters have been investigated to create a remarkable book about personal fates in World War One. The title of the 440-page Residenz Verlag publication “Es ist Frühling, und ich lebe noch” (It’s springtime, and I’m still alive) stands for the desperate situation European citizens and soldiers were in between 1914 and 1918. Marcel Atze and Kyra Waldner document the experiences of Alban Berg, Stefan Zweig and others during the First World War. Their book – which has been released in connection with an exhibition at the Vienna City Hall Library – features many personal notes and photos (one image even depicts fraternisation in the trenches), but also official releases by the Austrian-Hungarian Empire like a picture showing Franz Joseph I visiting wounded soldiers in a hospital.

“Es ist Frühling, und ich lebe noch”
By Marcel Atze and Kyra Waldner
Published by Residenz Verlag (

::: The Austrian Culture Channel on Twitter: @accthomas

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.