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So far Allison Centeno has created 44 blog entries.

VOICES

VOICES

BIAAS Voices: Black Lives Matter – In Austria Too By Farid Hafez

The murder of Afro-American George Floyd at the hands of a police officer elicited a global chorus of outrage. To see somebody being ruthlessly killed in eight minutes and 46 seconds leaves you speechless, if not angry and at least in pain--no matter who you are and where you live. In Austria, out of 8.9 million inhabitants, only an estimated 40,000 people have African ancestry (numbers from 2010, including Egypt and Tunisia).[1]  Many would not have thought that the Black Lives Matter protest that started in the United States could spill over to the Alpenrepublik. And yet it did. Politician, medical doctor and political activist Mireille Ngosso planned a small rally with for 500 participants. Following the burgeoning interest online, she and other like-minded colleagues then registered a rally for 3,000 people. “We could not believe our eyes, when finally more than 50,000 people showed up at the rally,” she told me.[2] The next day, activist Naomi Saphira Weiser, who founded Black Lives Matter Vienna,  organized a protest in front of the US Embassy in Vienna,[3] and more than 10,000 people showed up. So, why would so many people protest police brutality against Blacks in Austria? How do people in Austria relate to the murder of George Floyd in far-away Minneapolis? What does it mean when somebody in Austria declares ‘Black Lives Matter’ on the streets?

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VOICES2021-07-19T19:23:50+00:00

BIAAS Voices: Black Lives Matter – In Austria Too

BIAAS Voices: Black Lives Matter – In Austria Too

By Farid Hafez

The murder of Afro-American George Floyd at the hands of a police officer elicited a global chorus of outrage. To see somebody being ruthlessly killed in eight minutes and 46 seconds leaves you speechless, if not angry and at least in pain--no matter who you are and where you live. In Austria, out of 8.9 million inhabitants, only an estimated 40,000 people have African ancestry (numbers from 2010, including Egypt and Tunisia).[1]  Many would not have thought that the Black Lives Matter protest that started in the United States could spill over to the Alpenrepublik. And yet it did. Politician, medical doctor and political activist Mireille Ngosso planned a small rally with for 500 participants. Following the burgeoning interest online, she and other like-minded colleagues then registered a rally for 3,000 people. “We could not believe our eyes, when finally more than 50,000 people showed up at the rally,” she told me.[2] The next day, activist Naomi Saphira Weiser, who founded Black Lives Matter Vienna,  organized a protest in front of the US Embassy in Vienna,[3] and more than 10,000 people showed up. So, why would so many people protest police brutality against Blacks in Austria? How do people in Austria relate to the murder of George Floyd in far-away Minneapolis? What does it mean when somebody in Austria declares ‘Black Lives Matter’ on the streets?

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BIAAS Voices: Black Lives Matter – In Austria Too2020-09-16T18:41:51+00:00

‘The Vacation Vagaries of the Diplomatic Folk’: Ambassador Hengelmüller’s Summers in Bar Harbor, ME

‘The Vacation Vagaries of the Diplomatic Folk’: Ambassador Hengelmüller’s Summers in Bar Harbor, ME

By Kristina Poznan

Austria-Hungary’s diplomatic seat in the United States stood, naturally, in Washington, D.C., but the capital city’s sweltering summer climate drove American politicians and foreign diplomats alike out of the city in the summer months. Among them were Ladislas Hengelmüller von Hengervár, head of Austria-Hungary’s delegation to the United States from 1894 to 1913, and his family. President Grover Cleveland established the precedent of summer escape from Washington, which continued under William McKinley. “The vacation vagaries of the diplomatic folk, including and headed by President McKinley and his cabinet, have been the principal matter of interest to the public relation to members of the corps,” opined the International monthly magazine. “These great people set the fashion for many watering places and resorts by mountain and sea, and the struggles of the proprietors to secure one or more of them are often keen.”[i] In essence, ambassadors’ comings and goings from Washington gave shape to the diplomatic year.

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‘The Vacation Vagaries of the Diplomatic Folk’: Ambassador Hengelmüller’s Summers in Bar Harbor, ME2021-05-18T19:59:45+00:00

Allison Schmidt’s Emigration Routes from Austria-Hungary: Germany – Part II

Allison Schmidt's Emigration Routes from Austria-Hungary: Germany – Part II

By Allison Schmidt

The Leipzig registration station, opened in 1904, was part of a network of inspections stations that screened overseas-bound emigrants as they crossed Germany en route to port cities. Control stations (Kontrollstationen), which, unlike registration stations, required bathing and disinfection, arose first along the Prussian-Russian border in 1894. It helps to think of them as smaller Ellis Islands.

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Allison Schmidt’s Emigration Routes from Austria-Hungary: Germany – Part II2021-05-18T20:01:14+00:00

The Crisis Specialist: Clemens von Pirquet

Clemens von Pirquet, an Austrian pediatrician and scientist, held a prominent role in the international post-WWI humanitarian relief efforts during Austria’s hunger crisis. Pirquet directed his unique, scientific-based system of nutrition (no cocoa here, please) with the support of the American Relief Administration. As a result of this transatlantic partnership, hundreds of thousands of Austrian children were saved from starvation.

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The Crisis Specialist: Clemens von Pirquet2021-06-18T14:37:48+00:00

Emigration Routes from Austria-Hungary: Germany – Part I

Emigration Routes from Austria-Hungary: Germany – Part I

By Allison Schmidt

On November 26, 1908, police in Tetschen (“Děčín” in today’s Czechia) stopped a young man about to cross the border from Habsburg territory into Imperial Germany.

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Emigration Routes from Austria-Hungary: Germany – Part I2021-07-19T19:25:06+00:00

“I expect that this letter will be terribly long”: Hans (John) Kautsky’s First Letter from the U.S.A.

“I expect that this letter will be terribly long”: Hans (John) Kautsky’s First Letter from the U.S.A.

By Jacqueline Vansant

Sometime between March and April of 1938, a small group of 15- and 16-year-old schoolboys of Jewish heritage stood on a bridge over the Danube Canal in central Vienna and said good-bye to each other “forever.” Because the persecution of Austrian Jews, which had begun immediately after the Anschluss in March 1938, was particularly virulent, the boys and their parents knew that they had to flee the new Nazi regime as quickly as possible. When these classmates from the prestigious Bundesrealgymnasium Wien 1 met for the last time, they did not know what would become of them, but they promised one another that whatever happened they would do their best to maintain ties. The boys’ original promise resulted in an extraordinary group correspondence or Rundbrief that stretched over fifteen years and criss-crossed three continents.

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“I expect that this letter will be terribly long”: Hans (John) Kautsky’s First Letter from the U.S.A.2020-07-01T14:06:43+00:00

No sleep till (Inns)Brooklyn: OSS operation Greenup and the Liberation of the Tyrol in May 1945

No sleep till (Inns)Brooklyn: OSS operation Greenup and the Liberation of the Tyrol in May 1945

By Peter Pirker

The New York Times’ headline “Torture Endured by Brooklynite Made Innsbruck Entry Bloodless” informed the public why US troops didn’t have to fight when on May 3, 1945, they took the Austrian city of Innsbruck, the largest city in the so-called Alpine redoubt of Nazi Germany. The article featured the now famous Operation Greenup and its chief operator Frederick “Fred” Mayer.

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No sleep till (Inns)Brooklyn: OSS operation Greenup and the Liberation of the Tyrol in May 19452020-06-16T14:11:58+00:00

Part III of Megan Brandow-Faller’s  Interwar Vienna’s ‘Female Secession’: From Vienna to New York and Los Angeles

Part III of Megan Brandow-Faller’s  Interwar Vienna’s ‘Female Secession’: From Vienna to New York and Los Angeles

By Megan Brandow-Faller

Emmy Zweybrück-Prochaska and Liane Zimbler, who both played leading roles in Wiener Frauenkunst (WFK) Raumkunst exhibitions also left Austria for New York and Los Angeles. Like the exiled ceramicists, Zweybrück-Prochaska’s reputation as a pedagogue, designer, and craftswoman preceded her forced emigration. Throughout the 1930s, Zweybrück-Prochaska had taught seminars and summer courses on art instruction for children throughout the United States, serving as a guest lecturer at Columbia University, the University of Southern California, the University of California-Los Angeles, the University of Texas, Rhode Island School of Design, and elsewhere. Zweybrück-Prochaska, whose paternal grandfather was a Jewish convert to Christianity, never returned from her last American lecture tour in Spring 1939, despite applying for the renewal of her school’s rights of public incorporation for the 1939/40 school year prior to her departure.[1] While her non-Jewish husband, entrusted with the administrative leadership of the school, claimed that the outbreak of war prevented her from returning, Zweybrück-Prochaska’s racial classification as Mischling (mixed blood) made membership in the Reichskulturkammer impossible, suggesting that her extended 1939 stay with her daughter, Nora, born in 1921, was deliberate.