‘Woman in Gold’: Compelling Portrayal of Austria in WWII and Contemporary Times

Despite several historical inaccuracies, I enjoyed the film, Woman in Gold, about a Jewish woman's efforts to reclaim Gustav Klimt's iconic painting of her aunt, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, which was stolen from her family during World War II. For anyone considering a visit to Austria, it provides good historical context.

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In Vienna, Encountering History’s Ghosts

Won a free RT ticket to Vienna at end-of-school-year faculty luncheon last summer. Boarded a plane in Dubai at 2 am wearing shorts, just arrived in freezing but beautiful Vienna, greeted by "the Beautiful Blue Danube," http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xos7AcQIOlU music by Strauss, at new airport. Eyeballed little man dressed in black, with mustache and manner like Hitler.... Continue Reading →

The Remarkable Habsburgs

One cannot visit Vienna without being awed and appalled by the Habsburg dynasty, which had its main residences in this city. The legacy and shadow of the Habsburgs still looms large over Vienna. This modest medieval fortress in Switzerland, built between 1020 and 1030, is the ancestral home of the Habsburgs, who through strategic marriages... Continue Reading →

Hofburg Imperial Palace, aka Habsburg Winter Palace

Slideshow of Hofburg on Flickr.com. The Hofburg still houses the office of Austria president. Most interesting are the Kaiserappartements the Sissi Museum, and the Spanish Riding School. The Vienna Boys Choir often performs i the Burgkapelle or Royal Chapel. the Schatzkammer (Treasury) displays the 10th century Imperial Crown, and supposedly even a thorn from Christ's... Continue Reading →

Spectacular Schonnbrunn Palace

Schonnbrunn Palace Slideshow on Flickr.com Schonnbrunn Palace on Wikipedia: Highlights. Built initially in the mid-1500s, Schonnbrunn means "beautiful spring" Franz Joseph, the longest-reigning emperor of Austria, spent his last years in the Schönbrunn Palace and died there, at the age of 86, on 21 November 1916. Headquarters of British Army during World War II. John... Continue Reading →

Vienna’s Long History of Anti-Semitism

Christ Before Pilate, 17th Century, unknown artist. This painting refers to the pogroms of the 15th century and reveals an enduring anti-Semitic tendency. The inscription at the bottom left reads: "With a bloodthirsty trial and judgement/So the godless Jews treated Jesus the Savior of the World. And such was found in Vienna, beneath the grown,... Continue Reading →

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