The English edition includes the German edition as well as a separate text volume in English.
Although some of their ancestors were butchers and cattle dealers in Hohenems, the Brunner family later experienced a rapid social and cultural ascent abroad.
At the beginning of the 19th century, almost a whole generation of the Brunner family left Vorarlberg to seek their fortunes elsewhere. Many settled in the Mediterranean port city of Trieste, which at that time belonged to the Austrian Habsburg monarchy. It was here that the Brunners became wealthy and prosperous.
Within the context of European-Jewish history the Brunner family can be seen as exemplary. The large family was later scattered across large parts of Europe, yet maintained their close associations with Hohenems. With the rise of nationalism and antisemitism in Europe, throughout the devastation of two world wars, and in the face of the expulsion or extermination of most European Jews, the Brunner family prosperity came to an end. Many of the family members emigrated to various countries throughout the world. Some of them still meet regularly, either in Hohenems or at some other pre-arranged location.
The inspiration and resources for this book were gleaned on the whole from the exhibition “The Last Europeans: Jewish Perspectives on the Crises of an Idea” in the Jewish Museum Hohenems, along with an extensive permanent loan to the museum. The exhibition with its wealth of materials—mainly from the estate of Carlo Alberto Brunner—contains letters and documents, memorabilia, and everyday objects from many generations of the Brunner family. Excellent insights are provided into over 300 years of Jewish family history in Europe.