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Neo-Nazis convicted

Seven members of “Object 21”, a right-wing extremist group in Upper Austria were sentenced to up to six years in prison on 5 November, after pleading not guilty of “re-engagement with National Socialism”, which was established as a crime in 1947. According to police surveillance since 2009, Object 21 has terrorised the region in Attnang-Pucheim […]

A Ballroom Reborn

A Ballroom Reborn

On 16 August, 2001 a fire broke out on Marxergasse in Vienna’s 3rd District. Allegedly caused by a careless workman, the flames raged for eight hours. Only when the smoke cleared could the damage be assessed: The legendary Sofiensäle, once Vienna’s most beloved ballroom, was a smouldering ruin.   Bath to ballroom The story of […]

Book Review: Voices in Exile

Book Review: Voices in Exile

“By banning Jewish composers, Hitler’s Reich amputated an essential limb from the body of German cultural continuity,” writes Michael Haas in his groundbreaking book on Jewish musicians persecuted by the Third Reich, entitled Forbidden Music: The Jewish Composers Banned by the Nazis, published by Yale University Press in April. The former producer of Decca’s ‘Entartete […]

Book Review: The Tale of Jozef Tiso: Priest, Politician, Collaborator

Book Review: The Tale of Jozef Tiso: Priest, Politician, Collaborator

While the tumultuous years from 1914-1945 are surely the most researched, and written-about in modern history, the story of the priest-turned-president Jozef Tiso and the fascist Slovak Republic he presided over has been inaccessible to the Anglophone world. But no longer. With the publication of James Mace Ward’s Priest, Politician, Collaborator: Jozef Tiso and the […]

How Isotype Almost Conquered The World

How Isotype Almost Conquered The World

Through the red-brick portal and dark green doors of the Austrian Museum for Social and Economic Affairs, there’s a Kaffeehaus. Or is it a Beisl? It’s not staged for tourists – just a pleasantly worn, friendly Lokal for sharing table and talk. Perfect for a museum whose daily bread is communication. Tucked away in a […]

Book Review: Polish Patriot, Soldier, Spy

Book Review: Polish Patriot, Soldier, Spy

“In the Underground, it became a rule not to live in one place too long,” writes Jan Karski, in his memoir of the Polish resistance. Agents moved quickly from site to site in Nazi-occupied Europe. In Warsaw, they were beaten but fighting on, navigating borders while carrying messages to an outside world that wasn’t ready […]

Mauthausen Memorial

Mauthausen Memorial

Sunday, 5 May 2013: Two hours out of Vienna, past palatial Melk, across a sweeping plain sprouting green shoots and golden raps, picking up the coursing Donau, veering through a biscuit-box village into leaden Erinnerungstraße past retinues of police and a rickety hunter’s lookout, the bus lurches at the shoulder of a granite-grey wall. The […]

Vienna returns Nazi loot

The City of Vienna has returned 5,880 works of art that were stolen by the Nazis to their rightful owners or their heirs, according to Andreas Mailath-Pokorny, city councillor of cultural affairs. Since 1999 the origins of a total of 70,000 pieces in the city’s collections – stolen between 1938 and 1945 – have been […]

Bringing back Kokoschka

A painting by the Austrian Oskar Kokoschka, valued at €3 million, will be returned to the heirs of a Jewish art dealer, Alfred Flechtheim, who was persecuted by the Nazis. The painting is now at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, Germany, but the Museum’s director respects the panel’s ruling. Instead of returning the painting, the […]

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