Category Archives: Austrian history

Jewish Immigration, Part 2: Sponsorship & Family Rifts

Jewish Immigration, Part 2: Sponsorship & Family Rifts

This is Day 9 of the Family History Writing Challenge, 2018. In yesterday’s post, I described the restrictions against immigrants, especially Jews, coming to the U.S. from Nazi Austria (an accurate term, I decided, for a country that welcomed Hitler and that was instrumental to putting his Final Solution into place–claims of being occupied notwithstanding). Continue Reading

Jewish Immigration, Part 1: Quotas & Suspicion

Jewish Immigration, Part 1: Quotas & Suspicion

This is Day 8 of the Family History Writing Challenge, 2018 One of the key sources of information I have about Bertha and Adolph Schweitzer is the form they filled out in an attempt to leave Vienna. While I gather information on and interpret this document in the search for the identities of my great auntContinue Reading

Samuel Singer’s Military Service

Samuel Singer’s Military Service

This is Day 6 in the Family History Writing Challenge. I tend to be irreverent in my family history discussions — both because I tend to be irreverent about everything and if I didn’t laugh about certain topics, I would cry. This last was the case with the discussion of Samuel Singer’s military service (orContinue Reading

Dueling Desserts, Plaster Poets, & Sigmund Freud: Vienna’s Cafe Culture

Dueling Desserts, Plaster Poets, & Sigmund Freud: Vienna’s Cafe Culture

I’ve touched on the fact that my family members dabbled in sweets as well as meats in my last two posts, which involved my cousin Curt Allina, who lived across the street from Sigmund Freud and who later put the heads on PEZ. But the Kornmehl family also had a direct connection with a quintessentially VienneseContinue Reading

The Harmonie Vienna: Seven Reasons It’s My Dream Hotel

The Harmonie Vienna: Seven Reasons It’s My Dream Hotel

I just got word of where I’ll be bunking during my upcoming trip to Austria, thanks to the Vienna Tourist Board: The Harmonie Vienna. As a travel writer, I’ve been fortunate enough to stay in some of the world’s top hotels and resorts. But I can’t recall a place that was a better fit for me, personally, since…well,Continue Reading

Vienna’s Famous Foreskins

Vienna’s Famous Foreskins

Last week I visited Manhattan’s Leo Baeck Institute, known for its excellent collections of materials relating to Europe’s German-speaking Jewish communities. I was hoping to shed some light on the everyday lives of the Kornmehl family in Vienna. I had a limited amount of time and, unsure where to start looking, I browsed the listingsContinue Reading

Auf Wiedersehen, Pt. 3: A Lost — and Found — Holocaust Archive

Auf Wiedersehen, Pt. 3: A Lost — and Found — Holocaust Archive

I was planning to write a simple, one-post response to the film Auf Wiedersehen: ‘Til We Meet Again, the story of a visit to Austria of three generations of a family with Viennese roots. But the more I wrote, the more I had to say. Since I viewed the film three times, I suppose there’sContinue Reading

Unhappy 75th: The Anschluss & The Vienna Philharmonic

Unhappy 75th: The Anschluss & The Vienna Philharmonic

Yesterday I posted about how the film “The Sound of Music” gave a distorted image of Austrian complicity in Nazi policies, suggesting the Austrians were victims rather than enthusiastic participants. Apparently show music isn’t the only type of music that gives a distorted picture of Austria’s role in the war. Today, to mark the 75thContinue Reading