Home Intro People Events Equipment Places Maps Books Photos Videos Other Reference FAQ About

World War II Database

The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance

ISBN: 978-1427230065
Review Date:

The Hare with Amber Eyes was somewhat a diversion from the usual readings on WW2. In fact, I was not even sure whether I would write a review for it on WW2DB. While my initial feelings were more or less correct in that the WW2 period was but a backdrop for the book, I found that I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

The Ephrussi family made its initial fortunes in the grain trade in Eastern Europe. By the time the family branched out to Paris, France and Vienna, Austria, and as the family moved into the world of high finance, it had become one of the wealthiest families in Europe. The author, a descendent of the Ephrussis family through his grandmother Elisabeth Ephrussi, became interested in his family history as his great uncle Ignace von Ephrussi showed him a collection of Japanese nesuke sculptures, which was among the very few things that had remained from the family's glorious past. Through his two-year research and travel, he rediscovered the Ephrussi connection to Pierre-Auguste Renoir, to Marcel Proust, and other figures of renown. As a student of WW2 history, I paid particularly attention to his family's experience through the annexation of Austria, which marked the beginning of the family's sharp decline. As Ignace von Ephrussi settled in post-war Japan, his perspective of the seven-year American occupation of Japan also interested me. From these small nesuke collectibles, the author expanded the book far and wide, yet he was always successful in reining himself in before his thoughts drifted too far. He demonstrated himself as an expert storyteller, balancing perfectly between beautiful narratives and intimate family portraits.

"I'm wrong. This family is not erased, but written over. And finally, it is this that makes me cry."

Through passages such as the above, he simultaneously told of his family history in the Nazi-era, convoyed his rush of emotions while sitting in a modern Vienna archive studying Nazi-era documents, and displayed his mastery of the written word.

I had reviewed this title in its audio book format. Reader Micheal Maloney did an excellent job with the reading, his performance fitting the author's storytelling, and his appropriate accents brought out the author's narrative nuances.

From the perspective of a WW2 history enthusiast, The Hare with Amber Eyes brought to the table the story of a family's decline as Europe fell under the grasp of Nazi German control, with a small taste of the family's view on the occupation of Japan. The narratives were told in decorative and thought-provoking manner. While the Ephrussi family's name might have faded, its experience was indeed worth remembering.

Back to Main | Back to Book Reviews Index

Did you enjoy this article or find this article helpful? If so, please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 per month will go a long way! Thank you.

Share this article with your friends:


Stay updated with WW2DB:

 RSS Feeds

Posting Your Comments on this Topic

Your Name
Your Email
 Your email will not be published
Comment Type
Your Comments
Security Code



1. We hope that visitor conversations at WW2DB will be constructive and thought-provoking. Please refrain from using strong language. HTML tags are not allowed. Your IP address will be tracked even if you remain anonymous. WW2DB site administrators reserve the right to moderate, censor, and/or remove any comment. All comment submissions will become the property of WW2DB.

2. For inquiries about military records for members of the World War II armed forces, please see our FAQ.

Change View
Desktop View

Search WW2DB & Partner Sites
More on The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance

Random Photograph

Fanni Luukkonen, 1940s

Famous WW2 Quote
"You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory. Victory at all costs. Victory in spite of all terrors. Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival."

Winston Churchill

Support Us

Please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 a month will go a long way. Thank you!

Or, please support us by purchasing some WW2DB merchandise at TeeSpring, Thank you!