The author takes the Viennese family of Viktor Baur through the turbulent years of World War I, the difficulties of feeding the family when money was
worthless after the war, then followed closely by the Depression with so many people out of work. With all of this going on in Austria, Austrians could look over the border at their German neighbors and see their country improving under Hitler and the Nazis. Viktor is a successful banker and could see how the German economy was improving and that many Austrians were demanding Anschluss with Germany. However, Viktor was a strong Austrian, who had fought in the Great War and was concerned about the dictatorship with Hitler. The story then focuses on Viktor’s two children. Fritz and the younger daughter, Elke who are both caught up in the Hitler “magic.” Too often we read about the great events in history and concentrate on the people in power, forgetting that decisions made at high levels in government effect all individuals such as the Baur family.