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Restaurant Hebenstreit: Dining for Intellectuals

Restaurant Hebenstreit: Dining for Intellectuals

“Let’s have coffee in the living room,” fellow students would often say as we left class at the University of Vienna some 20 years ago. My friends did not mean their own shared apartments or hostels, though. What they meant was a small, cosy (and smoky) little place called Café Hebenstreit, today a restaurant. Hebenstreit […]

Paul Gulda: Improvising A Life of Art And Activism

Paul Gulda: Improvising A Life of Art And Activism

The asylum law protesters had been camped out at the Votivkirche for a couple of weeks when pianist Paul Gulda visited them for the first time in mid January. He had been asked to contribute a message of solidarity for their website. But as he read more about the occupation, he decided he needed to […]

Gita Kaufman Retraces the Shadows From My Past

Gita Kaufman Retraces the Shadows From My Past

Gita Weinrauch Kaufman “can never forget, nor forgive, what happened.” She wanted us to know that right off, from the beginning, before trying to pull the many threads of place and memory together. The result became Shadows From My Past, a new documentary by Mrs. Kaufman and her late husband Curt that will be screened […]

Siegfried Beer: Tracking Spies in the Archives

Siegfried Beer: Tracking Spies in the Archives

East German Spies in Austria!: The cover story of the Viennese weekly profil of 21 May jumped off the newsstand. Spy stories are hard to resist. This latest was about the one-time proprietor of Gutruf, a cigar chewing bon vivant by the name of Rudi Wein, code name “Procurer”, who re-surfaced recently in some newly-released […]

Waldheim Was Inevitable

Before coming to Vienna, I had always thought of Austrians as Germans. I was not completely wrong since even Austrians wanted to be Germans and have “a greater Germany,” after the collapse of the monarchy. Even with the Anschluss in 1938, many Austrians still thought Germany was their hope for the future. It wasn’t until […]

A ‘Hero’ of His Time

A ‘Hero’ of His Time

Kurt Waldheim received both high praise and deep dishonor throughout his 88 years of life. The son of a man who lost his job when Germany invaded Austria, he was a young lawyer, a member of the National Socialist Party, a soldier of the Third Reich, an intelligence officer of the SS, an ambassador, chairman […]

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