As in his earlier Beneath Another Sun (1943), Lothar bases his fiction on fact, in the story of a Vienna house and the family to which it is willed. Here are the Alt, their many children, their intermarriage with Jews, traced from the founder down to Hans, who desperate and hopeless after the first world war and his wife's death, watches helplessly the onsweep of Hitler and his order. With the invasion of Austria, he turns to subterranean propaganda, inciting his countrymen to keep faith against Naziism. A conscientious handling of details of social and political history, with an authentic feel, but it lacks the pace of story and the focus on character which would give it the vitality it needs. Personification of the Austrian spirit is not enough.