Recent Events2019-06-21T10:51:11+00:00

RECENT EVENTS

Recent conferences, lectures, and events that support scholarship on the historic relationship between Austria and the United States.

Annual Public Lecture 2019

Recent Events

The American Revolution and the Habsburg Monarchy - Grantee Publication & Webinar

By Jonathan Singerton

In 1783, the Peace of Paris treaties famously concluded the American Revolution. However, the Revolution could have come to an end two years earlier had diplomats from the Habsburg realms—the largest continental European power—succeeded in their attempts to convene a Congress of Vienna in 1781.

Mountain Rescue in Translation

By Mark S. Weiner

Why does the honor guard of the Mountain Rescue Association (MRA), the umbrella organization for all mountain rescue in America, carry Austrian ice axes when it stands in respect at memorials for fallen search-and-rescue personnel? For the past two years, I have been making a documentary film about the Austrian mountain rescue service, the Bergrettung, supported by seed funding from BIAAS.

In the Footsteps of Richard Neutra: An Expedition in California

By Peter Stuiber

Beginning in 2020, the Wien Museum MUSA presented the exhibition "Richard Neutra. Homes for California". This expedition highlighted the US-based work of one of the Austrian history's foremost modernist architects. To accompany it, a publication was made that also focuses on Neutra's contemporaries. The basis for this was an intensive research trip undertaken by Wien Museum curator Andreas Nierhaus and architectural photographer David Schreyer. A conversation.

Annual Botstiber Lecture 2022

Our 2022 lecture was delivered by the highly-accredited former US Assistant Secretary of State to Europe & Eurasia, A. Wess Mitchell. During the lecture, Mitchell addressed key topics of Austrian-American Relations in the context of the Russo-Ukrainian Conflict. The lecture was followed by a substantial Q&A with the audience.

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The Recharging Austrian-American Relations Conference

The Recharging Austrian-American Relations Conference was hosted on June 9th & 10th by the Botstiber Institute for Austrian-American Studies (BIAAS), in cooperation with the Diplomatische Akademie Wien and the Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation. Taking place at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, the event brought together the world's most prominent scholars and representatives of Austrian-American relations, with the purpose of strengthening the historic bond shared between the two countries.

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The 2022 Annual Botstiber Lecture with Dr. A. Wess Mitchell

On Friday, June 3, 2022, Dr. A. Wess Mitchell will deliver the annual Botstiber Lecture in the atrium of the Austrian Embassy at 6:30 pm. As one of the leading specialists on Europe and Russia, Dr. Mitchell will discuss the war in Ukraine and its effect on U.S.-Austrian relations.

Austrian Children and Youth Fleeing Nazi Austria Podcast Series

with Guest Host Jacqueline Vansant

Only a limited number of Jewish children, accompanied or alone, immigrated to the United States during WWII. As a result perhaps, research examining this subject has been largely overlooked. Austrian children and youth who fled Nazi-occupied Austria to land safely, against all the odds, in the United States has been even more neglected in terms of academic research. Here, however, in this extraordinary podcast series to support the related Journal of Austrian-American History Special Issue, guest host Jacqueline Vansant, professor emerita of German at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, discusses three different research perspectives examining Austrian-Jewish Child Migration during WWII with expert and engaging guests.

This podcast series supports a related Journal of Austrian-American History Special Issue! Guest host Jacqueline Vansant, professor emerita of German at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, discusses three different research perspectives examining Austrian-Jewish Child Migration during WWII. These podcasts highlight the important work of guests Tim Corbett, Kirsten Krick-Aigner, and Swen Steinberg in examining material excavated from diverse archives via multiple lenses and demonstrate the extraordinary capacity of this archival research to illuminate the Austrian-Jewish child and adolescent experience.

Woodrow Wilson’s Emancipatory Perspective: The Ottoman and Habsburg Empires

By Larry Wolff

Historian Larry Wolff chronicles the evolution of US President Woodrow Wilson's anti-imperial ideology towards the Habsburg Empire in this article. Though Wilson called for the autonomy of the Habsburg peoples in Point Ten of his Fourteen Points speech in January of 1918, he did not arrive at a fully frank opposition to the empire's existence until that October--a year and a half after America entered World War I. Wilson's thinking about the Habsburg monarchy was shaped by his perspective on the Ottoman empire, his youthful admiration for British Liberal leader William Gladstone, and his sense of Abraham Lincoln's legacy of emancipation.

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Thomas Antonic's film about Austrian-American Beat poet ruth weiss, One More Step West is the Sea, recently won "Best International Documentary Feature" in the New York Independent Cinema 2021 Awards.

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ruth weiss: Poet, Performer, Grand Dame of the Beat Generation

with Thomas Antonic

BIAAS's latest podcast presents BIAAS grantee Thomas Antonic, whose film about Austrian-American Beat poet ruth weiss, One More Step West Is the Sea, recently won the New York Independent Cinema Awards 2021 in the category "Best International Documentary Feature."

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Code Name Mary: The Extraordinary Life of Muriel Gardiner

By Carol Seigel

Muriel Gardiner had an extraordinary, multi-faceted life--a young American woman who courageously fought fascism in 1930s Austria; a member of Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic circle in 1930s Vienna, who became a psychoanalyst herself, practising and writing in the US in the post war decades, and closely connected to Freud’s most famous patient, the Wolf Man, about whom she wrote a seminal book; and the founder of the Freud Museum London with her friend Anna Freud, Sigmund’s daughter. Muriel is also believed to be the model for Lillian Hellman’s character 'Julia' in the 1977 Oscar winning film.

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Unterweger’s Signature Knot: The “Austrian Jack the Ripper’s” Murder Spree in the Vienna Woods and the Hollywood Hills

By Kristina E. Poznan

Austrian serial killer Johann “Jack” Unterweger was back in entertainment news after a brief discussion of him in an episode of Netflix’s Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel. Unterweger committed three murders in Los Angeles in 1991 while on a freelance assignment for an Austrian newspaper to write an article comparing red light districts in Austria and the United States. He was apprehended in Florida in February of the following year, having gone back to Austria in between and then fled from Salzburg police back to the United States. Unterweger may have the distinction of being the only known Austrian-American serial killer.

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Botstiber Institute for Austrian-American Studies Appoints New Managing Director

The Botstiber Institute for Austrian-American Studies has appointed a new Managing Director to shepherd its many educational and philanthropic initiatives.

Kevin J. McNamara, an experienced non-profit executive, author and editor, and an Associate Scholar of the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI), Philadelphia, will assume his new duties at the Botstiber Institute on November 1, 2021.

Say Hello to "Auf Wiedersehen, Kinder!" and Ernst Papanek with Lilly Maier

with Lilly Maier

Lilly Maier is the author of the recent biography of Ernst Papanek, "Auf Wiedersehen, Kinder!: Ernst Papanek. Revolutionär, Reformpädagoge und Retter jüdischer Kinder." In this podcast, she discusses the remarkable life of the Viennese-born socialist and educator who saved the lives of almost 300 children from the Nazis.

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Lilly Maier is the author of the recent biography of Ernst Papanek, "Auf Wiedersehen, Kinder!: Ernst Papanek. Revolutionär, Reformpädagoge und Retter jüdischer Kinder." In this podcast, she discusses the explores the remarkable life of the Viennese-born socialist and educator who saved the lives of almost 300 children from the Nazis.

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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.

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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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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"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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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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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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Designing His Life: Victor Papanek

with Alison J. Clarke

Alison J. Clarke's new book, "Victor Papanek: Designer for the Real World," is the biography of the Austrian-American trailblazer in social design. In the late 1960s, Victor Papanek began writing his seminal "Design for the Real World" which argued for socially and ecologically sustainable design long before the ensuing movements years later. Published in 1971, the impact and relevance of his book persists globally.

As a teenager, Victor Papanek fled Nazi-occupied Austria with his mother to land in New York. Before he even began his studies at Cooper Union, Papanek's experiences in Vienna had shaped his socially-responsible outlook. In this podcast, Dr. Clarke explains why, to understand Papanek and his work, she had to examine his life as an Austrian-émigré. 

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Dr. Alison J. Clarke discusses her new book, "Victor Papanek: Designer for the Real World," a biography of social design's Austrian-American trailblazer. V Victor Papanek wrote "Design for the Real World," a book that augured the ascent of socially and ecologically sustainable design movements many years later. Published in 1971, the impact and relevance of his book persists globally.

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Vienna in Hollywood

Call for Proposals

Organized by the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, the USC Libraries, USC’s Max Kade Institute for Austrian, German, and Swiss Studies, and the Austrian Consulate General in Los Angeles, which initiated this project, “Vienna in Hollywood” will explore and highlight the impact of Austrians on the Hollywood film industry from the 1920s through the present. The symposium is part of an event series of the same name dedicated to Austrian and particularly Austrian-Jewish heritage in California, organized by the Austrian Consulate General in Los Angeles. The symposium will take place at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures and at the University of Southern California in December 2021.

The Botstiber Junior Fellowship in Transatlantic Austrian and Central European Relationships 2022/2023

Applications Open Until July 5, 2021

The Botstiber Institute for Austrian-American Studies (BIAAS) and the Institute for Advanced Study at Central European University in Budapest (IAS CEU) are pleased to invite applications for the fellowship in Transatlantic Austrian and Central European Relations for junior researchers for the academic year 2022/23.

Americans in Vienna, 1945-1955

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

The Center for Austrian and German Studies at Ben Gurion University of the Negev (CAGS) and the Botstiber Institute for Austrian-American Studies invite you to their online conference! The papers by historians from Austria, Israel and the United States will focus on the varied presence of Americans in Vienna during the first decade after the Second World War. The conference keynote, titled "Americans in Vienna, 1945-1955," will be given by Prof. Guenter Bischof (The University of New Orleans).

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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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AUSTRIAN CULTURAL FORUM NEW YORK ANNOUNCES PRESENTATION OF THREE WITH A PEN: LILY RENÉE, BIL SPIRA, AND PAUL PETER PORGES

On view March 11 through September 3, 2021

The Austrian Cultural Forum New York, in cooperation with the Jewish Museum Vienna, presents Three with a Pen: Lily Renée, Bil Spira, and Paul Peter Porges featuring works by the three Jewish artists driven from their homes in Vienna after the German annexation of Austria, the so-called “Anschluss”, in 1938. On view March 11 through September 3, 2021, the exhibition showcases examples of their signature work in comic books, New Yorker cartoons, Mad magazine spoofs, caricatures, portraiture, fashion design, advertising, and children’s books, among other formats. Biographical material and ephemera amplify the artists’ personal stories of survival and, in part, help contextualize their professional achievements.

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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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Transatlantic Journeys in Musical Practice

with Christiane Tewinkel

In this podcast, Dr. Christiane Tewinkel shares many fascinating aspects of her musicology research as related to Theodor Leschetizky and his American students. Born in Galicia in 1830, Theodor Leschetizky, a pianist and composer himself, became internationally famous as a piano teacher with over 1,000 students, including Fanny Bloomfield-Zeisler, Elly Ney, Ignacy Paderewski, and Arthur Schnabel.

Although Leschetizky had enormous influence during his time, his personal records had never been studied. That is, until now. Christiane Tewinkel traveled to the Leschetizky Association in New York to see their special collection for herself.

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Dr. Christiane Tewinkel discusses her musicology research as related to Theodor Leschetizky and his American students. Born in Galicia in 1830, Theodor Leschetizky, a pianist and composer himself, became internationally famous as a piano teacher with over 1,000 students. Of these, 350-400 were American. Although Leschetizky had enormous influence during his time, his personal records had never been studied. That is, until now. Christiane Tewinkel traveled to the Leschetizky Association in New York to see their special collection for herself. Her findings are fascinating, revealing so much about a man, his "Method," students, transatlantic relations, musicology, and more.

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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 battlefields of a war that ended in defeat. The memorial testifies to the continuing significance of that lost cause; the figure’s presence allows that past to intrude constantly into the present, allows that past to insist on keeping its narrative and its problematic memory current for successive generations. Each generation, in its respective present, must wrestle with the legacy of the past for which the memorial stands, a past that becomes increasingly contentious over time, as times change.

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A Sense of Belonging: The Camphill Movement and its Origins—A Two-Part Podcast Series

with Katherine E. Sorrels

The Camphill Movement is a global network of intentional communities for abled and intellectually disabled people. With over 100 communities today, Camphill began after Dr. Karl Koenig, his wife Tilla, and a group of volunteers fled Nazi-occupied Vienna in 1938 and rejoined in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1939. There they undertook the care of Austrian- and German-Jewish refugee children, as well as British children, with disabilities. From that first Camphill Special School, a fusion of Jewish diasporas with Austrian and German spiritual movements and the U.S. counterculture all developed Camphill's extraordinary approach to disability.

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In this second podcast of a two part-series, Dr. Katherine Sorrels elaborates on specific elements of the Camphill Movement:  anthroposophy, counterculture, approaches to disability, Karl Koenig's relationship with Hans Asperger, and more.

In this first podcast of a two part-series, Dr. Katherine Sorrels explains the Camphill Movement as it exists today and as it was founded 80+ years ago.

The Fiume Crisis: Made (But Not Primarily) in the USA

By Dominique Kirchner Reill

What would have happened if Woodrow Wilson and his corps of American experts had focused less of their post-WWI energy on the northeastern Adriatic port town of Fiume? Perhaps the Paris Peace Conference would not have collapsed in diplomatic deadlock, leading to the only Great Power walk-out of the entire proceedings. Perhaps Japan would have been denied the mandate over mainland China. Perhaps two successive Italian governments would not have fallen apart. A charismatic dictator-poet might not have founded a rogue republic in the city. Italian pirates might have idled on the Adriatic, instead of attacking ships and scoring booty to fund the poet’s Fiume regime. Peace might have reigned then, in Fiume, over the 1920 Christmas holiday with no need to chase out said poet and his followers. Perhaps Fiume would not have become the smallest successor state of post-WWI Europe. And perhaps all the nationalist extremism that percolated around this upheaval wouldn’t have convinced so many Italians that only Mussolini with his militaristic takeover would deliver Italy the expansionist, national grandeur so many believed it deserved. And, finally, perhaps today the city, today’s Rijeka in the Republic of Croatia, would not have witnessed heart-wrenching histories of nationalist erasure where Slavic speakers and Jews suffered exclusionary politics and violence at the hands of the Fascist and Nazi regimes, followed by tens of thousands of Italians fleeing after Fascism’s fall in order avoid a similar fate.

Steel City Haydnsaal: The Austrian Nationality Room in Pitt’s Cathedral of Learning

By Kristina E. Poznan

Jutting skyward on the University of Pittsburgh campus is one of the tallest educational buildings in the world, the Cathedral of Learning. The 2,000-room Cathedral was commissioned in 1921 and began hosting classes in 1931. In addition to the academic and administrative departments housed in this building, it contains over two dozen instructional spaces each designed to celebrate a different culture that had an influence on Pittsburgh's growth, reflecting the significance of the city’s immigrant population. European states, through local organizing committees, were granted the opportunity to decorate “nationality rooms” in the post-war era. The Cathedral as a whole was a unifying project, but the distribution of classrooms based on new political borders in Europe formally divided Pittsburgh’s immigrants. “Each group had to form a Room Committee, which would be responsible for all fundraising, designing, and acquisition.” Pittsburgh residents hailing from Austria-Hungary could be represented by the Czechoslovak Nationality Room (1939), German Nationality Room (1938), Hungarian Nationality Room (1939), Polish Nationality Room (1940), Romanian Nationality Room (1943), and Yugoslav Nationality Room (1939). (An Israel Heritage Room was added in 1987 and a Ukrainian Room in 1990). This method of division stands in contrast to that employed by the Cleveland Cultural Gardens, which apportioned spaces by ethno-linguistic cultures, rather than by country.

Transatlantic Academic Cooperation in the Interwar: James T. Shotwell and the Austrian and Hungarian Series of the Carnegie Endowment's "Social and Economic Consequences of the Great War"

By Tamara Scheer

Columbia University historian James T. Shotwell began his project of publishing an international series on the social and economic consequences of the Great War when he became the director of research for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in 1917. He proposed an alternative historiography. Shotwell’s publication plans were not the Carnegie Endowment’s first such undertaking. The Balkan Report of 1914 examined the causes of the two Balkan wars (1912/1913) by ‘concentrating on destruction and suffering of warfare, rather than martial glory,’ as historian William Mulligan has noted, and to ‘shame the belligerents and reinforce the rules of war.’ For the Great War undertaking, Shotwell sought to focus on the consequences rather than to publish a history of the war. While reports on the Balkan Wars tended to present readers with the perspectives of the non-belligerent states, Shotwell planned to engage authors from all major belligerents. Authors from victorious and defeated powers were to address the same topics, including economy, labour, governance, and public health.

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The Botstiber Compact Seminar in Austrian Studies at the UC Berkeley Institute of European Studies

The Botstiber Institute for Austrian-American Studies (BIAAS) is pleased to announce The Botstiber Compact Seminar in Austrian Studies at the UC Berkeley Institute of European Studies.

Applications for the position of Visiting Professor to teach the newly created Botstiber Compact Seminar in Austrian Studies are now open. Interested applicants should propose a topic for the compact seminar, which will take place over five weeks, related to Austrian literature, history, or culture, in the broadest sense. Interdisciplinary approaches and themes are encouraged. The Botstiber Compact Seminar is an official UC Berkeley course, offered for credit (2 units), to graduate students and advanced undergraduates from all UC Berkeley Departments. The course will have three hours of instruction per week plus office hours for meeting with students. During his/her stay, the selected Visiting Professor will also give a public lecture—the “Botstiber Lecture”—at the Institute of European Studies. The lecture should refer to the historic relationship between the United States and Austria, including lands of the former Habsburg Empire, in accordance with BIAAS’s mission.

The first Botstiber Compact Seminar in Austrian Studies at UC Berkeley will be offered in the Spring 2022 semester (February-April 2022). Click the link below for detailed application information and instructions.

A European Modernist in America: Elizabeth Scheu Close, Architect, Part Two

By Jane King Hession

In 1932, when Elizabeth Scheu left Vienna to complete her education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), she came armed with considerable knowledge of European modern architecture, a subject about which little was popularly known in the United States at the time. However, her arrival coincided with a groundbreaking exhibition at New York’s Museum of Modern Art that introduced Americans to a revolutionary new take on architecture and coined the phrase the “International Style.”

The show Modern Architecture: International Exhibition featured the work of a host of European architects including Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus in Weimar, Germany, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, who would later lead the Bauhaus in its Dessau location, Austrian Richard Neutra, who was then practicing in California, and Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, a French-Swiss architect known as “Le Corbusier.” Lisl would have been familiar with the work of these architects and she knew Neutra personally. Work by Adolf Loos, the architect who designed her childhood home, the Scheu House in Hietzing, Vienna, did not appear in the show, but he was referenced in the exhibition catalogue as a pre-World War I architect with “radical tendencies.”[1] While the International Style had arrived in the US via the museum exhibition, most European proponents of it remained overseas. Lisl's move to the US in 1932 predated a major wave of immigration by architects in the late 1930s, such as Gropius, Mies van der Rohe, and Marcel Breuer, who would irrevocably shape architectural education in America. When she moved to Minnesota in 1936, she was the first European-born modern architect in the state.

From Vienna and the Scheu House: Elizabeth Scheu Close, Architect, Part One

By Jane King Hession

Elizabeth “Lisl” Scheu Close (1912-2011) was Minnesota’s first modern architect. As the designer of more than 250 custom residences, several medical and laboratory facilities, and dozens of prefabricated house models from which 10,000 homes were produced, she was also one of the most prolific Austrian-born architects of the 20th century. Although she lived all but twenty of her ninety-nine years in the United States, her life and career were profoundly shaped by her early years in Vienna, notably her family history, her architecturally significant home, and the many international visitors she encountered there.

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"Der Traum von einem Feentempel" - "The dream of a fairytale temple" By Katherine Baber

When, on May 25, 2020, the Salzburg Festival announced it would proceed amid the pandemic, it seemed an act of profound optimism—perhaps not unlike Max Reinhardt's ambition to have a dedicated Festival house, conjured by Hugo von Hofmannstal as a "dream of a fairy temple, in which people from every nation on earth discover each other again." In reality, the Salzburg Festival did become one of the first "deeds of peace" after World War I, and it revived itself as a cultural peace project after World War II. Now in 2020, the Festival Direktorium has dedicated its anniversary edition to the Festival’s original principles, returning to themes of "community, the relationship of the individual to the whole, radical individualism and, as a great hope, the idea that the world can be changed through communal solidarity, through a new humanity."

The Cleveland Cultural Gardens and the Peoples of Former Austria-Hungary in the 1930s

By Kristina Poznan

Within its 276 acres, Rockefeller Park hosts a unique collection of public gardens, 33 in all, each a celebration of an immigrant group settled in Ohio. Of these, several represent migrants from the lands of the former Habsburg Empire. Its goals were visionary. “Cleveland Cultural Gardens are accomplishing in their community the same thing that the League of Nations is trying to do for the world,” League representative Guillame Swiss proclaimed in 1935. The Cultural Gardens offered local ethnic communities the opportunity to design gardens to celebrate their culture through statues to “poets and other cultural leaders.” The Cleveland City Council had authorized the creation of an expanded series of culturally driven landscape features in Rockefeller Park in 1927, many of which opened in the 1930s. Local committees handled many of the preparations with critical assistance from the New Deal’s Works Progress Administration for execution of the infrastructure. As historian Mark Tebeau explains, “The gardens “reveal the history of immigration to, and migration within, the United States.”

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Learn about the 2020 BIAAS Grantees

Congratulations to our 2020 award recipients. View our Database of Funded Research to learn more about the scholars/organizations and their projects which highlight the historic relationship between the United States and Austria. Projects and events funded include: archival research, articles, books, conferences/symposia, digital projects, documentary films, exhibits, lectures, and workshops.

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"Wie sich doch in einem Augenblick mein ganzes Schicksal wendete!" - "How in a moment my whole fate has changed!" By Katherine Baber

Near the end of the first act of Così fan tutte, Dorabella and Fiordiligi are bewildered, mourning the sudden departure of their fiancés for war. They have no idea how much more profoundly their lives are about to be disordered. As the sisters retreat to their garden, Mozart tempers the words of Lorenzo da Ponte’s libretto by casting their duet in a tranquil mood, setting them up to have the rug pulled out from under them moments later in a typically rambunctious finale. What ensues—deception, disguises, loss of innocence, the questioning of love and loyalty—alters all. The couples who are married at the end are fundamentally different people than they were at the beginning. This Italian-style opera buffo is comic, yes, but also cautionary. Mozart might have warned us about 2020.

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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 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?

‘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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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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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.

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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Grant for Fulbright-Botstiber Visiting Professor of Austrian-American Studies in the United States

The Botstiber Institute for Austrian-American Studies and Fulbright Austria invite you to apply for a 4-month guest professorship in the US for the academic year 2021-22 by October 30., 2020:

“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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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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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.

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

By Megan Brandow-Faller

Artists like Vally Wieselthier, Emmy Zweybrück-Prochaska, or Maria Likarz-Strauss, who created decorative art and handcraft that was formally and thematically provocative, clashed with the regime’s attempts to resurrect the hierarchy of the arts and retain biologically defined gender roles. The regime tended to prefer clarity in art and design and emphasized, on the one hand, a resurgence of traditional handcraft skills and, on the other, industrially-produced design objects for the masses. The Viennese tradition of decorative arts—a field known for its defiance of traditional boundaries of high/low and masculine and feminine fields of expression—was met with outright hostility, added to the Jewish nature of its artist base and patronage networks.

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Interwar Vienna’s ‘Female Secession’: From Vienna to New York and Los Angeles

By Megan Brandow-Faller

In Secessionist and interwar Vienna, female artists trained at the Viennese Women’s Academy created self-consciously ‘feminine’ art incorporating traditional forms of women’s handcrafts (including ceramics, textiles and embroidery) but in new and subversive ways. Such artists sought to reclaim the negative stereotypes surrounding 'women's art' through a series of ambitious public exhibitions and didactic programs bringing together the visual arts, crafts, and architecture in model decorative interiors. Constituting what critics likened to a ‘female Secession,’ this provocative ‘women’s art’ was a subversive feminist intervention in the misogynist backlash against the rising numbers of female artists and the promotion of decorative arts championed by the Vienna Secessionists (led by Gustav Klimt, Josef Hoffmann and others). The female Secessionists made important contributions to modern art and design that have been ignored because of their embrace of the decorative arts and handcraft media. Introducing the movement in general, this blog post unearths the female Secession’s unexpected Austro-American linkages, tracing the path of American emigration of adherents including Vally Wieselthier (1895-1945), Susi Singer (1891-1955), Liane Zimbler (1892-1987) and Emmy Zweybrück-Prochaska (1890-1956).

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Only a Myth? The Solely English-Speaking Habsburg Army Conscripts from the United States, 1868-1918 Monarchy

By Tamara Scheer

On August 2, 1914, the Philadelphia Inquirer entitled a story "Austrian Consul Busy," and reported the behavior of some of its city dwellers: "But the desire to get back to the defense of the lands of their birth is not confined to reservists. Naturalized American citizens have besieged the … consulates.… Around the Austro-Hungarian consulate fully 500 men gathered this morning."[i] A couple of days earlier, the same newspaper had even named some of these men, among them: "George Harros, a Viennese, came from Trenton to offer his services, saying in response to a question that he would rather a thousand times go back and fight for his country than continue in the United States."[ii] In those days, following the war declaration of Austria-Hungary on Serbia, hundreds of thousands of Austrian and Hungarian men were called to arms. Due to mass migration since the nineteenth century, many of them lived and worked abroad, including the United States. Many of them were even born there. Beside journalists' reports, Austro-Hungarian consulates themselves announced calls to arm all over the world.

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John Adams and the Habsburg Monarchy

By Jonathan Singerton

The Habsburg Monarchy had many men who understood the complexity of the early American situation. Foremost among them, Count Karl von Zinzendorf had studied the American colonial economy, had met with Benjamin Franklin in London before the war, and had read the histories of America as well as the revolutionary pamphlets of Thomas Paine and Samuel Adams.

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Early America and the Habsburg Dynasty

By Jonathan Singerton

The Columbian voyages in the 1490s captivated the European imagination with the discovery of the New World. Encounters with indigenous inhabitants informed the European perspective on the Americas.

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Now Presenting Christiane Tewinkel and Joseph Malherek

In 2016, the Botstiber Institute for Austrian-American Studies (BIAAS) and the Central European University established the Botstiber Fellowship in Transatlantic Austrian and Central European Relationships at the Institute for Advanced Study at Central European University (IAS CEU). The first scholars embarked in the fall of 2017 for the inaugural fellowships at IAS CEU to share their research with their colleagues in a vibrant multidisciplinary center.

Part 3 of 3: Scholarship “A Lifetime [...]

Part 2 of 3: Professional Life “A [...]

Part 1 of 3: Biography and Early [...]

2020 BIAAS Interview with Harry Carl Schaub, [...]

Schwimmer vs. the United States

By Emily R. Gioielli

In 1929, the naturalization petition of famed feminist and peace activist Rosika Schwimmer was denied once and for all by the United States Supreme Court. Unwilling to swear to take up arms against the enemies of the United States on the basis of her uncompromising commitment to pacifism, Schwimmer died a “woman without a country” in 1948. How did this person of “good moral character” who was committed to “supporting and defending the constitution of the United States” (not through bearing arms) end up stateless?

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The Socialite’s War: The Last Days of the Dual Monarchy on the Society Page

By Emily R. Gioielli

On January 27, 1908, “the most discussed” international alliance in the world was made in a mansion on Fifth Avenue in New York City: the marriage of socialite and heiress Gladys Vanderbilt and Count László Széchenyi, the great-nephew of Hungary’s nineteenth-century great reformer, Count István Széchenyi and an officer in the Austro-Hungarian imperial army.

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Edith Sampson in Austria: The Promise and Limits of Person-to-Person Diplomacy in the Early Cold War

By Athan Biss

In the first week of June 1951, Edith Spurlock Sampson, a fifty-year-old African American attorney from Chicago’s South Side, arrived in Vienna as a goodwill ambassador under the auspices of the United States Information Service (USIS).

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‘Richard Neutra California Living Exhibit at the Wien Museum and Los Angeles Modernism Revisited: Houses by Neutra, Schindler, Ain and Contemporaries by Andreas Nierhaus and David Schreyer

Andreas Nierhaus, curator of architecture at the Wien Museum, and David Schreyer, an architecture photographer based in Austria, embarked on a research trip to Los Angeles and southern California during June 2017 with the intent of taking a fresh look at little-known residences of classic modernism.

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Teaching American-Austrian Encounters: The Case for Bayard Taylor

By Nadine Zimmerli

In the increasingly crowded antebellum marketplace for books on travel, Bayard Taylor’s 1846 Views A-Foot, or Europe Seen with Knapsack and Staff stood out as the only book chronicling an affordable tour of Europe.

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‘A r c h i t e k t u r z e n t r u m W i e n announces the release of Cold War and Architecture written by Monika Platzer.

A r c h i t e k t u r z e n t r u m W i e n announces the release of Cold War and Architecture written by Monika Platzer. After Austria’s liberation by the Allies in 1945, Vienna became an important arena of the Cold War. In this book, Monika Platzer contextualizes the role of building activity and its protagonists in a nation lodged between competing systems. The global dimension of the East-West conflict and its ramifications are crucial to the reappraisal of Austrian architectural discourse after 1945. Each of the four occupying powers established an extensive cultural program. Great Britain, France, the US, and the Soviet Union used architectural exhibitions as platforms through which to transfer cultural, ideological, economic, and technological concepts and ideas. The battle of the different systems after the Second World War was all encompassing, and continued in the cultural arms race of two transnational networks of modernism, namely CIAM Austria and the International Summer Seminar (known today as European Forum Alpbach). The Botstiber Institute for Austrian-American Studies is honored to support the English translation of this important work. Distributed by Park Books, the English translation of Cold War and Architecture may be purchased via The University of Chicago Press Books here:

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An Unexpected Encounter between a Silesian Weaver and a (future) American President

By Nadine Zimmerli

Today I would like to recount John Quincy Adams’s visit to a Silesian weaver’s home in 1800 to share the delightful and unexpected insights that historical research into European-American connections can bring.

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Imprisoned Germans, Half-mad Scots, and Bloodsucking Americans: The Habsburg Fears of Emigration to the United States

By Jonathan Singerton

“One could call this era the start of a new mass migration,” declared the editors of the popular Provinzial Nachrichten (Provincial News) of Lower Austria in August 1783. There was good reason. The rest of the frontline article relayed the numerous reports from across Europe of the wave of emigrants heading to the new United States of America. From Ireland, where “130,000 people” uprooted themselves, to as far as Poland “the same amount are now migrating to America,” the newspaper reads. A description of such an exodus in the Habsburg Monarchy was conspicuously absent from the report, but it was present.

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A "solitary supper... and a glass of Hungary wine": American Impressions of Central Europe in the Early Nineteenth Century

By Nadine Zimmerli

In mid-November of 1822, Washington Irving sat down to "a solitary supper... and a glass of Hungary wine" in Vienna. Irving—America’s first bestselling author of international fame—traversed much of Central Europe in the early 1820s, and he's a good reminder that early Americans explored Europe beyond the better known destinations of Britain, France, and Italy.

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Walter Kotschnig and the German Refugee Scholar Crisis, 1933–36

By Joseph Malherek

At a critical historical juncture following Hitler’s rise to power, an Austrian political scientist helped to coordinate a profoundly consequential intellectual migration to the United States. Walter Maria Kotschnig (1901–1985) was well-positioned to respond to the crisis of refugee scholars caused by the Nazi Reich’s law to “restore” the professional civil service, which went into effect in April of 1933 and led to the immediate dismissal of more than a thousand academics in Germany.

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Austrian author Theodora Bauer discusses her writing process and research for her 2017 novel, Chikago. Published in German, Chikago chronicles the immigration journey of three young people, Feri, Katica, and Anica, from Burgenland to Chicago during the 1920s and 1930s.

Austrian author Theodora Bauer discusses her writing process and research for her 2017 novel, Chikago. Published in German, Chikago chronicles the immigration journey of three young people, Feri, Katica, and Anica, from Burgenland to Chicago during the 1920s and 1930s.

Austrian author Theodora Bauer discusses her writing process and research for her 2017 novel, Chikago. Published in German, Chikago chronicles the immigration journey of three young people, Feri, Katica, and Anica, from Burgenland to Chicago during the 1920s and 1930s.

Austrian author Theodora Bauer discusses her writing process and research for her 2017 novel, Chikago. Published in German, Chikago chronicles the immigration journey of three young people, Feri, Katica, and Anica, from Burgenland to Chicago during the 1920s and 1930s.

The National Dispute

By Alison Orton

“In Bohemia, the most important beer region in Austria, the national dispute between Czechs and Germans rages, poisoning everything,” read a 1913 article in the Brauerei-Arbeiter Zeitung, the periodical for the United States National Union of Brewery Workmen [NUBW].

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The Separatist Evil

By Alison Orton

Despite the bad working conditions and the growing popularity of labor unions in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, major breweries in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, with Pilsen at the forefront, successfully resisted recognizing or negotiating with unions until after World War I.

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VOICES Post WWI Aid in Austria & Central Europe Symposium

By Friederike Kind-Kovács

Throughout many years of historical research in the field of humanitarian child relief in Budapest after WWI, I have attended many conferences that dealt in one way or another with humanitarian aid.

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The Jungle in Pilsen

By Alison Orton

At the turn of the century, the poor working conditions at breweries in the Habsburg Empire’s western Bohemian city of Pilsen (Plzeň) gained international attention, especially after Samuel Gompers, a prominent American labor activist, toured Pilsen’s breweries in 1909.

From the Post WWI Aid in Austria & Central Europe Symposium

Posted October 8, 2019

From the Post WWI Aid in Austria & Central Europe Symposium PD. Dr. Friederike Kind-Kovács 1919-2019: The Legacy of Transatlantic and Transnational Aid to Central Europe

PD. Dr. Friederike Kind-Kovács, a former Botstiber-CEU Fellow, discusses the recent conference on “Post World War I Aid in Austria & Central Europe” which took place between September 26 and 27, 2019, at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna.

From the Post WWI Aid in Austria & Central Europe Symposium

Posted October 8, 2019

From the Post WWI Aid in Austria & Central Europe Symposium PD. Dr. Friederike Kind-Kovács 1919-2019: The Legacy of Transatlantic and Transnational Aid to Central Europe

PD. Dr. Friederike Kind-Kovács, a former Botstiber-CEU Fellow, discusses the recent conference on “Post World War I Aid in Austria & Central Europe” which took place between September 26 and 27, 2019, at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna.

‘Cold War and Architecture’ Exhibit at the Architekturzentrum Wien

Posted October 2, 2019

After the liberation of Austria in spring 1945 and the occupation by the four victorious powers of Great Britain, France, USA, and the Soviet Union, Vienna became a central stage for the Cold War. During the ten-year occupation, Austria experienced the transition from an authoritarian system of government to a democratic consumer society as the contrasting political ideologies of the Allies established their architectural visions.

The Homecoming of the Austrian School of Economics after WWII

By Janek Wasserman

The story of the emigration of the Austrian School of Economics from Vienna to the US in the 1930s and 1940s is relatively well-known. Less discussed are the various ways that the Austrian émigrés attempted to recreate their tradition in Austria after World War II.

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Constitutional Connections

By Jonathan Singerton

On March 8 1779, the Grand Duke Leopold I of Tuscany left Vienna for Florence in a rather disgruntled mood. Over the past year he had deputized for his brother, the Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II, while he was away commanding in the War of the Bavarian Succession. Leopold felt horrified at the running of the state in the Habsburg capital. Finances were poor, subjects were displeased, and, worse, Leopold felt Joseph only uttered “frightful, despotic statements.”

Constitutional Connections

By Jonathan Singerton

On March 8 1779, the Grand Duke Leopold I of Tuscany left Vienna for Florence in a rather disgruntled mood. Over the past year he had deputized for his brother, the Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II, while he was away commanding in the War of the Bavarian Succession. Leopold felt horrified at the running of the state in the Habsburg capital. Finances were poor, subjects were displeased, and, worse, Leopold felt Joseph only uttered “frightful, despotic statements.”

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Series of 3 Podcasts about Mass Migration

September 17, 2019

BIAAS presents a series of three podcasts dedicated to exploring the history of the mass migration from Austria-Hungary to the United States. Former BIAAS grant recipient, Jonathan Singerton, talks to Wladimir Fischer-Nebmaier, James Oberly and Annemarie Steidl, three historians who co-authored a landmark book on migration, entitled From a Multiethnic Empire to a Nation of Nations: Austro-Hungarian Migrants in the US, 1870 to 1940.

Blog: “A Habsburg Archduke in Hollywood!” by Jacqueline Vansant (BIAAS Grantee)

September 10, 2019

Former BIAAS grant recipient, Jacqueline Vansant, writes a blog entitled “A Habsburg Archduke in Hollywood!” Excerpt: If I were to ask you which Hollywood film you associate most with Austria, you’d probably say The Sound of Music without much hesitation. Yet, it is only one of over fifty films made in Hollywood that were set in Austria.

A Habsburg Archduke in Hollywood!

By Jacqueline Vansant

If I were to ask you which Hollywood film you associate most with Austria, you’d probably say The Sound of Music without much hesitation. Yet, it is only one of over fifty films made in Hollywood that were set in Austria. And if I were to ask you to name some Austrians who worked or are working in the film capital, you might think of Arnold Schwarzenegger or Christoph Waltz or possibly such Hollywood directors as Erich von Stroheim, Josef von Sternberg, or Billy Wilder. I doubt if anyone would name Archduke Leopold of Austria.

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Austrian author Theodora Bauer discusses her writing process and research for her 2017 novel, Chikago. Published in German, Chikago chronicles the immigration journey of three young people, Feri, Katica, and Anica, from Burgenland to Chicago during the 1920s and 1930s.

Austrian author Theodora Bauer discusses her writing process and research for her 2017 novel, Chikago. Published in German, Chikago chronicles the immigration journey of three young people, Feri, Katica, and Anica, from Burgenland to Chicago during the 1920s and 1930s.

Austrian author Theodora Bauer discusses her writing process and research for her 2017 novel, Chikago. Published in German, Chikago chronicles the immigration journey of three young people, Feri, Katica, and Anica, from Burgenland to Chicago during the 1920s and 1930s.

2019 BIAAS Grantees and Fellow

Posted September 3, 2019

Congratulations to our 2019 award recipients. View our Database of Funded Research to learn more about the scholars/organizations and their projects, which highlight the historic relationship between the United States and Austria. Projects and events funded include: archival research, articles, books, translations, lectures, exhibitions, and documentaries.

Save the Date for Austria Symposium: September 26 - 27, 2019

Posted July 16, 2019

"This year, 2019, marks a hundred years since the end of World War I, which devastated Austria and other Central European countries. Austria in particular suffered from the lack of food and fuel leading to widespread child malnutrition. The American Relief Administration provided on average 300,000 hot meals a day to school children over a period of several years.

Bard Music Festival in New York: August 9 - 11 and 16 - 18, 2019

Posted July 15, 2019

Leon Botstein, President of Bard College, and The Bard Music Festival received a BIAAS grant for its exploration of the life, work, and legacy of Austrian composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold. Taking place over two weekends (August 9–11 and 16–18, 2019), the festival will look at Korngold’s life on both sides of the Atlantic, from his upbringing in Austria, with a focus on how its politics and culture shaped his life, to his time in the United States, where the specific musical language developed during his time in Vienna continued to influence—and infuse—the scores he created for film. The lasting influence on U.S. culture of Korngold and other artists who emigrated from Austria will also be explored.

Anna Freud and ‘The Conscience of Society' [...]

Blog, Book and Film by Elizabeth Ann Danto (BIAAS Grantee)

July 9, 2019

Former BIAAS grant recipient, Elizabeth Ann Danto, wrote a blog entitled Freud and Tiffany, New York and Vienna, which was based on her book, Freud/Tiffany. Her film Anna Freud and ‘The Conscience of Society’ is a 15 minute digital exhibit which brings to life the fascinating intersection of psychoanalysis and education.

Freud and Tiffany, New York and Vienna

By Elizabeth Ann Danto

At a time when Vienna was to the Western world what New York is today, Louise Tiffany was reading Freud’s newly-published Interpretation of Dreams in German. Twenty years later, Dorothy, the daughter of Louise and Louis Comfort Tiffany, would take her own four children from New York to Vienna for safety and psychoanalysis and for respite from her complicated marriage to Robert Burlingham at its end. They arrived in 1925.

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Videos: In Conversation with Dr. Anton Pelinka

Posted July 1, 2019

Dr. Anton Pelinka, professor of political science and nationalism studies, shares his insights regarding U.S. and Austria relations since WWII with Dr. Gary Cohen, Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, during an interview on May 11, 2019. View videos on BIAAS or YouTube.

2019 BIAAS Interview with Dr. Anton Pelinka [...]

2019 BIAAS Interview with Dr. Anton Pelinka [...]

2019 BIAAS Interview with Dr. Anton Pelinka [...]

2019 BIAAS Interview with Dr. Anton Pelinka [...]

Zinzendorf and Zinner: Two Unlikely Experts on the American Revolution

By Jonathan Singerton

Before the American Revolution had even begun, the British ambassador in Vienna disgruntledly commented to his superiors in London, “every idle fellow talks of America.” Yet who really knew what they were talking about, exactly? Who in the Habsburg Monarchy knew the most about the faraway land across the Atlantic Ocean?

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2019 BIAAS Lecture with Dr. Anton Pelinka [...]

2019 BIAAS Lecture with Dr. Anton Pelinka [...]

Fulbright-Botstiber Awards

Posted June 6, 2019

Learn more about our Fulbright-Botstiber Visiting Professor of Austrian-American Studies Grant. Deadline is October 30, 2019 for the 2020-2021 Academic Year.

2019 Botstiber Public Lecture with Dr. Anton Pelinka

May 9, 2019

On May 9th, 2019 at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Dr. Anton Pelinka, professor of political science and nationalism studies, delivered a public lecture entitled “Good Uncle Sam, Bad Uncle Sam: The Perception of the United States in Post-Habsburg Austria.”

Story of Franz Jägerstätter

Posted May 14, 2019

Günter Bischof, PhD, a BIAAS Board Member, writes about Franz Jägerstätter, an Austrian Catholic Resister. Terrence Malick’s WWII drama A Hidden Life, about Jägerstätter, will debut at the Cannes Film Festival.

New BIAAS Website

Posted April 25, 2019

The Botstiber Institute for Austrian-American Studies is pleased to announce our new website at Botstiberbiaas.org. The website includes innovative Austrian-American Studies content in blogs, videos and podcasts, and features a directory of 14 leading Austrian-American organizations.

Call for Papers: The Austrian Academy of Sciences, the American Austrian Foundation, and the Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation

Posted April 25, 2019

Call for Papers: The Austrian Academy of Sciences, the American Austrian Foundation, and the Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation are accepting submissions on topics related to relief organizations and efforts after World War I in Austria and in comparison to other countries.

Join BIAAS for a Public Lecture by Dr. Anton Pelinka

Posted April 10, 2019

Join BIAAS for a Public Lecture by Dr. Anton Pelinka on May 9th, 2019 at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. To learn more and register for this FREE event sponsored by the Botstiber Institute for Austrian-American Studies, visit EventBrite.

2019 Cultural Politics and Propaganda Conference - [...]

2019 Cultural Politics and Propaganda Conference - [...]

All in His Hands: The Emperor's Artist Who Sculpted America's Founding Fathers

By Jonathan Singerton

In November 1783, readers of the Wienerisches Diarium learned about the craze of monument building across the Atlantic. “Sculpted marble,” “bas-reliefs,” and “statues of bronze” were springing up across the American states to commemorate their independence and to honour their leader, Washington. The editors closed the latest report in the ‘Amerika’ section with a copy of the Continental Congress’s commission for equestrian statue of Washington. “How flattering must such an honour be for him,” they commented.

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“Lessons for Republicans”: John Adams’s Son-in-law Visits Vienna

By Jonathan Singerton

When Colonel William Stephens Smith (1755-1816) rode along the “most remarkably bad road” between Pirna and Litoměřice along the Elbe River, he joined an exclusive cadre of Americans who reached the Habsburg lands in Central Europe. In all likelihood, Smith became the fifth American to visit the Habsburg capital, Vienna.

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Fur Pelts and Fascination: Native Americans and the Habsburg Monarchy

By Jonathan Singerton

During the summer of 1785, a middle-aged man and his seventeen-year-old son entered a house in New York City. Inside were three men but only one rose to greet them. An impressively tall figure, standing at 6’6”, he warmly invited them to share some of the finest Madeira wine. Such an encounter might sound like the beginning of a meeting between George Washington and some friends, but it wasn’t.

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Not Just The Hessians

By Jonathan Singerton

Who are the most famous foreigners to have fought in the War of American Independence? Fighting for the side of American liberty, we may think of familiar French officers like the Marquis de Lafayette or the Comte de Rochambeau. Prussians like Baron von Steuben or martyrs like Johann de Kalb and Casimir Pulaski might also cross our minds. And of course the most vilified campaigners against American independence were the enlisted Hessians soldiers.

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“What Animal is the Emperor?”: An Entrepreneur from Bohemia Goes Rogue

By Jonathan Singerton

The name Joseph Donath might not be familiar to you, but perhaps it ought to be. Donath became the second Habsburg representative in the United States after Baron de Beelen-Bertholff. His commercial mission came about through the machinations of several Viennese industrialists, spearheaded by Joseph Paul Reichsfreiherr von Weinbrenner.

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The Habsburg Monarchy’s Man on the Ground: Baron de Beelen-Bertholff

By Jonathan Singerton

August should have been a relatively safe time for transatlantic travel, but calm seas and prosperous winds could still give way to fierce storms and howling gales. “At around two in the morning,” recorded one poor soul on the George Washington in 1783, “we awoke for the second time to one of the most monstrous storms, we were not even finished pulling up the sails before the waves dashed abroad from all sides; most of the sailors had to finish their work half-swimming.”[1] Forty days later as the ship finally drifted up the Delaware River to reach the American capital, Philadelphia, only to learn that in the weeks prior the city’s inhabitants fell victim to a severe “Fall Fever,” claiming thirty lives a day at its height.

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2018 Summit of Austrian - American Organizations

November 12-13, 2018

A summit of diplomatic, scholarly and advocacy organizations focused on cultural and academic exchanges between the U.S. and Austria convened in New Orleans Nov. 12-13 to explore opportunities for joining forces in areas of mutual interest and benefit.

2018 German Studies Association Conference

September 27-30, 2018

Join us at the 2018 GSA to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Botstiber Institute for Austrian-American Studies! Check back to find out more details about our BIAAS anniversary reception on Saturday, September 29th. The 10th Anniversary Reception will be open to all conference attendees.

BIAAS will also sponsor a panel focusing on "Americans in Europe: Exploring Moments in Transatlantic Culture Exchange." The session will feature talks by Nadine Zimmerli, Alison Orton, Emily Gioelli, and Andrew Behrendt.

The United States as ‘An Abode of Misery’: Maria von Born’s Life in the Early American Republic

By Jonathan Singerton

There was nothing ordinary about Maria von Born; from the very beginning she seemed destined to lead an extraordinary life. Her father was the most celebrated scientist and mineralogist in the Habsburg Monarchy, Ignaz von Born. Born in Prague, in the gilded Saxon House overlooking the gateway to gothic Charles Bridge, she grew up primarily in Vienna, near to Mozart. A gifted linguist, she mastered French, English, Latin, and Italian alongside her native German tongue. Her family’s home on Vienna’s Kärtnerstrasse—today No. 19—became a Viennese nerve center for scholarly debate and enlightened thought. Aristocrats, courtiers, and the who’s who of Vienna mixed with reformers, scientists, and visitors from Mexico, Spain, Britain, France, Sweden, Germany, Russia, and elsewhere. Cosmopolitan is an understatement.

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American Revolutionary and Revolutionary Emperor: Benjamin Franklin and Joseph II

By Jonathan Singerton

Back when the United States of America struggled to become an independent nation, one name stood out for Europeans as the quintessential American: Benjamin Franklin. Before the revolution his name became synonymous with modernity through his prolific writing, scientific endeavours, and his numerous inventions, most famously the lightning rod, the Franklin stove, and the musical glass harmonica. Franklin, a shrewd businessman now statesman, knew his European audiences well and donned his notorious beaver hat and fur-skinned coat for the couriers at Versailles during his mission to Europe as one of the United States’s representatives to France. For people located in the Habsburg Monarchy, far away from the bloody battlefields in North America or the whimsical French court, Franklin also embodied the young republic in a myriad of ways.

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Austrian author Theodora Bauer discusses her writing process and research for her 2017 novel, Chikago. Published in German, Chikago chronicles the immigration journey of three young people, Feri, Katica, and Anica, from Burgenland to Chicago during the 1920s and 1930s.

University of Illinois at Chicago doctoral candidate Alison Orton discusses the ways immigrants from Central Europe changed the landscape of beer culture in the United States.

2018 BIAAS Lecture with Dr. Leon Botstein [...]

2018 BIAAS Lecture with Dr. Leon Botstein [...]

Call for Papers: Vienna

March 28-30, 2019

"Cultural Politics and Propaganda: Mediated Narratives and Images in Austrian-American Relations (1900-2000)" Conference

Hosted by the North Atlantic Triangle Commission for Social and Cultural Exchange between Europe, the USA, and Canada at the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

Sponsored by the Botstiber Institute for Austrian-American Studies and the Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation

2019 Cultural Politics and Propaganda Conference in Vienna, Austria

March 28-30, 2019

"Cultural Politics and Propaganda: Mediated Narratives and Images in Austrian-American Relations (1900-2000)" Conference took place from March 28 - 30, 2019 at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, Austria. "Culture Politics and Propaganda" was hosted by the North Atlantic Triangle Commission and sponsored by the Botstiber Institute for Austrian-American Studies and the Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation.

2018 Botstiber Lecture with Dr. Leon Botstein

May 11, 2018

Dr. Leon Botstein presented the 2018 Botstiber Lecture at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, a division of Johns Hopkins University, located in Washington, D.C. Dr. Botstein is President of Bard College and Chairman of the Board of Central European University. His lecture, “The Cunning of History: The Politics of Today and the Austro-Hungarian Empire of the Past,” examined the political history of Eastern and Central Europe since the end of the First World War.

Dr. Kristina Poznan, Associate Director of the Botstiber Institute for Austrian-American Studies, discusses the experiences of early 20th century Austro-Hungarian migrants to the United States.

Central European University, March 8, 2018

2018 Central European University Conference

March 8-10, 2018

BIAAS co-organized this conference with Central European University's Institute for Advanced Study (IAS). Presenters at the conference included former recipients of BIAAS grants and fellowships as well as former Botstiber/IAS Fellows, who have received the Botstiber Fellowship in Transatlantic Austrian and Central European Relationships. Selected papers from this conference will comprise volume 2, issue 1 of the Journal of Austrian-American History. Click below to watch the keynote lecture presented by Dr. William O'Reilly of Cambridge University.

2018 Florida State University Conference

February 16, 2018

Scholars from across the United States and Europe participated in panel sessions focused on new approaches to collecting, preserving, and disseminating letters of migrants and immigrants. The conference was hosted by Florida State University's Institute on World War II and the Human Experience and Department of History. BIAAS provided partial funding for this conference. Selected papers from "Letters in Troubled Times" will comprise volume 2, issue 2 of the Journal of Austrian-American History.

2017 Botstiber Lecture with Dr. Heinz Fischer

June 2, 2017

Former President of Austria, Dr. Heinz Fischer presented the 2017 Botstiber Lecture at the Austrian Embassy in Washington, D.C. Click below to hear Dr. Fischer's talk titled, “Austria 1918-2018,” and learn about the political history of Austrian throughout the 20th century.

The Dietrich W. Botstiber Foundation and the Central European University Announcement

The Dietrich W. Botstiber Foundation and the Central European University CEU are pleased to announce the Botstiber Fellowship in Transatlantic Austrian and Central European Relationships. Fellowships are available for all scholarly work related to the historical, political or economic, and cultural relationship between the United States and present-day Austria or the countries that historically make up the Austro-Hungarian or Austrian Empires.

2016 Botstiber Lecture - Panel Discussion

May 20, 2016

The 2016 Botstiber Lecture featured a panel discussion on "The Politics of Migration in America and Austria." Hosted at the Austrian Embassy in Washington, D.C., the panel featured presentations by Farid Hafez of the University of Salzburg and James "Jim" Hollifield of Southern Methodist University. Tara Zahra, Professor of East European History at the University of Chicago, moderated the discussion. Click below to listen to an audio recording of the panel discussion.

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