"It takes something to walk out your door and leave everything"
And as I suspected, the narrative has got much darker.
Some family members managed to escape Vienna before Hitler came to power. Others had to watch as their homes and possessions were taken from them, and they fled with only the clothes they were wearing. And some were deported to Dachau and just disappear from history.
The author's descriptions of events like the Anschluss and Kristallnacht come from the correspondence he has acquired from family archives and it's quite matter of fact, which makes it even more harrowing.
This book was recommended to me by a friend whose family were in a similar situation in Czechoslovakia. I know that her grandmother's name is on the Pinkas Synagogue Memorial, so I can only imagine how painful it was for her to read.