Alice's Book. How the Nazis Stole my Grandmother's Cookbook
What happened to the books the Nazis could not afford to burn? The story of a Jewish chef whose bestselling cookbook was stolen by the Nazis and who had to fight for her survival in England and America: In 1939 the unknown author Rudolf Rösch published a cookbook about Viennese cuisine. SO KOCHT MAN IN WIEN! (This is how you cook in Vienna!) was a cookbook bestseller and is still available today. But Rudolf Rösch had never written this book. Indeed, he may never have existed; a conveniently fictitious product of the Nazi era. The real author was a Viennese Jewess named Alice Urbach. Before the Nazis took over Austria the book had been published under her own name. Now 80 years later, Alice's granddaughter, the historian Karina Urbach, sets out to uncover the true story behind the stolen cookbook. See also: German version: https://albert.ias.edu/20.500.12111/7920; French/German documentary Alice’s Book on arte/ZDF: https://www.karinaurbach.org.uk/video/Alice-film-teaser.m4v
Vienna in the 1930s: Alice Urbach, the daughter of a bourgeois Jewish family, from the ashes of the Great Depression rises to become a Julia-Child-like star founding her own cooking school. Amongst her students is Sigmund Freud’s daughter and Austrian aristocracy. But when the Nazis march into Austria in 1938, the entire family is forced to flee. Alice escapes to England, while her younger son, Karl, is imprisoned in Dachau. Her older son, Otto, had already emigrated to the United States and later becomes an intelligence officer fighting the Nazis underground. Alice spends the war years looking after Jewish refugee children in the Lake District. In 1949, she confronts her publisher. He refuses to give her back the authorship of her book. Abandoning hope, she emigrates to the United Sates, where she tries a new beginning, teaching Viennese pastry in San Francisco and cooking on American television. Her dream to publish her cookbook in English under her own name remains unfulfilled.