There’s so much to report about my recent trip to Vienna, hosted by the Jewish Welcome Service, and so little time to do it right now as I prepare to leave for a book tour. But I won’t bury the lede. I’m thinking very seriously of returning to Vienna next year for a much longer time — a minimum of three months, the length of a tourist visa. If I can get a work or study visa for some of the projects I have in mind, I’d like to stay even longer.
And do I even have to tell you (I guess I do, because a few people already have asked)? OF COURSE I’LL BRING MADELEINE.
I’m also planning to apply for dual citizenship. As someone whose parents were both born in the city and forced by the Nazis to leave — or, rather, forced to try to get out by hook or crook or be sent to their deaths — I am likely entitled to Austrian citizenship.
I can’t think of a better time to consider that contingency. Wouldn’t it be ironic to have to flee to Austria because of the political situation in the U.S.?
All this to say there’s a high likelihood that there will be plenty of reporting about Vienna in my future. And yours.
A Few Things that happened on this trip to Vienna
- I stayed at the superb Hotel Stefanie, the oldest hotel in Vienna though it’s as spiffing as if it were new.
- I ate lots of pastry and went on a fruitless (pun intended) search for marzipan candy. See the picture in the corner of this post? This was put on Facebook by my new blogger friend Nino Loss of Schibboleth fame after I returned from Vienna. I thought that was cruel but I admit it did have an inspirational effect.
- I drank lots of beer.
- I ate schnitzel and goulasch.
- I met some relatives I knew I had and a possible relative I thought I might have; made several new friends; and met a few old friends, including one for the first time.
- I found my father’s house (see earlier photos) at the Archive of the Jewish Community, Vienna, and discovered my grandmother’s birth name was Malvina, not Mathilde as I had always thought. My sister, who was named Tilda after her maternal grandmother, should probably be grateful.
- I’m pretty sure I found the site of the Cafe Victoria, which OSK (the Other Siegmund Kornmehl) owned.
- I went to the University of Vienna Medical School to meet with the head of the psychology department.
- I contemplated my connection with Vienna.
These are all teasers, yes. I promise more details soon (which may be August).
Speaking of teasers, I forgot to mention that I found out the fate of a mystery member of my family before I went to Vienna. Stay tuned….