Where is America? Remaking Central Europe, the League of Nations, and the New International Order

Where is America? Remaking Central Europe, the League of Nations, and the New International Order

By Peter Becker and Natasha Wheatley

In our book, Remaking Central Europe. The League of Nations and the Former Habsburg Lands, we look at the ways in which the new political order in Central Europe after the end of the Great War was fashioned by national and international entities in close concurrence. The rationale for this edited volume was moving beyond the obvious, that is, the relevance of the Peace Treaties of Saint-German, Versailles, and Trianon for the reordering of Central Europe. The transition from a well-integrated economic space and from a probably less well-integrated political space to a coexistence of states, which defined themselves, preposterously, as nation states, was fraught with utopian expectations and, more importantly, with massive challenges.

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Where is America? Remaking Central Europe, the League of Nations, and the New International Order2021-09-16T19:05:45+00:00

The Enduring Promise of Multinationalism: Hans Kohn’s Habsburg Legacies

The Enduring Promise of Multinationalism: Hans Kohn’s Habsburg Legacies

By Adi Gordon

These are interesting times to reflect on nationalism. After more than half a century in which nationalism was considerably tamed by the memory of World War Two, by intergovernmental organizations, and through various aspects of globalization, the current decade has witnessed a clear rise of nationalism in the United States and abroad. Part of the new nationalist tide is the prevalent sense of its inevitability. It seems de rigueur nowadays to ridicule as naïve the anticipation of (even hope for) gradual transition into a post national future, in which nationalities are secondary to other allegiances. Nations, it is claimed, have always existed, and nationalism (and even ethno-nationalism) is simply part of human nature. But is it so?

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The Enduring Promise of Multinationalism: Hans Kohn’s Habsburg Legacies2021-08-02T20:31:22+00:00

Hölzlhuber’s America: An Austrian Artist’s Depiction of Antebellum Travel in Wisconsin and Beyond, 1856-1860

Hölzlhuber’s America: An Austrian Artist’s Depiction of Antebellum Travel in Wisconsin and Beyond, 1856-1860

By Janine Yorimoto Boldt and Kristina E. Poznan

When Franz Hölzlhuber arrived in the United States from Austria in 1856, the United States was in deep debate over the future of slavery in its western territories and actively engaged in Native removal. During Hölzlhuber’s four years in America, war was raging in “Bleeding” Kansas, John Brown led a raid on the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, and the Pony Express connected Missouri and Sacramento, California. Hölzlhuber’s path crisscrossed with many of these developments, which he recorded in sketches at the time, subsequently painted, and commented on over two decades later when exhibiting his American art back in Austria.

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Hölzlhuber’s America: An Austrian Artist’s Depiction of Antebellum Travel in Wisconsin and Beyond, 1856-18602021-07-13T01:59:01+00:00

“This is Jimmy Berg from New York:” Dreams, Expectations, and Reality

"This is Jimmy Berg from New York:" Dreams, Expectations and Reality

By Julia-Katharina Neier

Jimmy Berg was born in 1909 in Kolomea as Symson Weinberg. He was a musician, composer, lyricist and journalist. In 1938 he had to flee from Austria because of his Jewish origins and his work in the communism-related cabaret theatre group ABC. Thanks to an affidavit of the industrialist Otto Eisenschimmel Berg was able to enter the US via Southampton on the S.S. Manhattan on November 24,1938.

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“This is Jimmy Berg from New York:” Dreams, Expectations, and Reality2021-06-29T18:15:23+00:00

Rosa Wien: Gay Rights, Schlager and Self-Exile: 1918-1938

Rosa Wien: Gay Rights, Schlager and Self-Exile: 1918-1938

By Casey J. Hayes

So…What comes to mind when you hear the word “Cabaret”? Perhaps…Liza Minelli? Yet, however historically accurate this depiction of the 1920s Weimar Berlin cabaret scene may be (I doubt they had Liza or Bob Fosse) it was a more reserved cabaret culture that developed within the Austrian capitol; more quick conversation, jokes, political statements, and sentimental chansons; less drag queens and spectacle. It would have, I believe, looked much more accessible to the conservative Viennese and less like the pages from a Christopher Isherwood novel. Yet, there are many historical yet little-known events that played out at the intersection of the struggle for civil rights for western society’s gay communities, the National Socialist’s persecution of homosexuals, and the fate of some of Europe’s greatest performing artists self-exiled in Vienna. The wildly hedonistic world of German-speaking Cabaret would be the backdrop for a collision which resulted in the ultimate elimination of the art of the “Kleinkunstbuhne” throughout Central Europe.

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Rosa Wien: Gay Rights, Schlager and Self-Exile: 1918-19382021-06-14T21:17:17+00:00

Drawn to America: Julius Klinger’s Poster Art

Drawn to America: Julius Klinger's Poster Art

By Karen Etingin

Viennese-born Julius Klinger (1876-1942) innovated advertising posters, book and magazine illustrations, mass promotional campaigns, and brand development, and he had a single-minded approach to an International Graphic Language. He became well known in his Austrian homeland as well as in Germany by the outbreak of WWI via an artistic reputation built on the strength and range of his designs, which were characterized by graphic simplicity, eponymous typefaces and irony. An advocate of “Americanismus,” and the progressive attitudes towards modern business and media coming from across the Atlantic, Klinger understood the power of modern trademarks and logos and their ability to give identity to major businesses and manufacturers.

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Drawn to America: Julius Klinger’s Poster Art2021-05-31T20:20:04+00:00

Atom Splitting /Atomzertrümmerung: Austrian Manhattan Project Scientist Otto Robert Frisch in Los Alamos, 1943-1945

Atom Splitting /Atomzertrümmerung: Austrian Manhattan Project Scientist Otto Robert Frisch in Los Alamos, 1943-1945

By Kristina Poznan

The U.S. government’s World War II Manhattan Project benefitted from the work of several scientists born in Austria-Hungary, from physicists to chemists to mathematicians. Elizabeth Rona, Leó Szilárd, Edward Teller, John von Neumann,[1] and Eugene Wigner were all from Budapest, George Placzek from Brno, and Stanislaw Ulam from Lviv. Among those born in Vienna were Victor F. Weisskopf and, most significantly for our purposes, Otto Robert Frisch.

Frisch arrived in the United States to work on “Project Y” in Los Alamos in1943 as part of “British Mission” cohort of scientists (Frisch had hurriedly been made a British citizen to participate). Frisch’s scientific work had already taken him from Vienna to Germany, Denmark, and England before the United States, including the laboratory of his renowned aunt, Lise Meitner, with whom he theorized the fission of uranium. Although Frisch returned to Europe in 1946 after the war, his three years in New Mexico are indicative of a wide contribution of Austro-Hungarian scientific training to Allied victory in World War II.

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Atom Splitting /Atomzertrümmerung: Austrian Manhattan Project Scientist Otto Robert Frisch in Los Alamos, 1943-19452021-04-29T16:03:13+00:00

Raptured and demonized: Josephine Baker in Vienna

Raptured and demonized: Josephine Baker in Vienna

By Mona Horncastle

In 1928, after two successful years in Paris, Baker starts her first tour of Europe with great expectations. Yet her victories are always accompanied by controversy. In Vienna, the first stop on her journey, Baker is omnipresent: posters advertising her second film La Revue des Revues show the almost naked Baker in pearls and feather jewelry throughout the city. The poster for her revue Black and White is no less revealing. Vienna is not Paris, and the entertainment culture of the Music Hall is still completely foreign to the city, which leads to agitation among cultural conservatives: Catholic circles mobilize before Baker even arrives in Vienna. When her train from Paris arrives, the church bells of the Paulanerkirche are chiming to warn the population of the "Black Devil." However, an unfazed crowd gathers to cheer enthusiastically as Baker arrives on the platform of the train station. The authorities are also ambiguous: on the one hand, Baker is promised police protection for the duration of her stay in Vienna, on the other hand, the Ronacher Theater is not permitted to show the announced revue.

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Raptured and demonized: Josephine Baker in Vienna2021-03-09T14:42:53+00:00

VOICES

VOICES

Leaving Siegfried Behind: Reimagining Monuments in Austria and the American South By Alexandra Sterling-Hellenbrand

A solitary stone figure occupies a prominent space at the institutional heart of the university. The statue commemorates the lives, primarily of students, tragically cut short on the battlefi