Hannes Richter

Twenty-One Years of Austrian Information

Hannes Richter

Ulf Pacher (1969 - 2000)

Ulf Pacher began working for the Information Service under Dr. Otto Zundritsch in 1969. At that time the office was quite small. Occasionally people from the outside were asked to contribute articles for Austrian Information. In the 1950’s and 60’s, before Ulf Pacher joined the team, journalists such as Hugo Portisch or Hans Janitschek, later New York correspondent for the Kronen Zeitung and Secretary General of the Socialist International in the 1970s, were also involved with the publication. As Pacher recalls, he was at Columbia School of International Affairs when a search was underway for someone to edit Austrian Information.

“By chance former Deputy-Head of the New York Consulate General Thomas Nowotny (later Consul General and husband of former Ambassador to the U.S. Eva Nowotny) approached me because he knew that I had translated several books written in English and also had some journalistic experience. “From May 1969 to June 1982 Pacher worked for the Information Service in New York. In 1982 he left for Los Angeles where he was Consul for Press and Information. He returned later to Washington as Press Counselor where he was involved until his retirement with the publication of Austrian Information from 1992 to 2000. Ulf Pacher contributed twenty-one years of writing and editing for Austrian Information. Regular readers of Austrian Information were originally emigrants, and the initial subscriber base reached an audience of about 10,000. Readers were primarily concentrated in New York, followed by those on the West Coast, where many Austrians lived. There was a strong response, and the Information Service informed readers throughout the country of Austria’s presence. After the relocation of the Information Service from New York to Washington the close cooperation of the Press and Information Service with the Embassy proved very beneficial.

----

Ulf Pacher studied political science at the University of Vienna in 1956 and was at the University of Arkansas on a Fulbright Scholarship from 1957-1958. In 1968 he was a Stetten Fellow at Columbia University in New York at the School of International Affairs, earning a Master’s degree in International Affairs in 1970. From 1969-1982 he served as Editor with the Austrian Information Service in N.Y., while simultaneously working as Press Counselor at the Austrian Mission to the United Nations from 1972-1982. He served six years in Los Angeles as Consul for Press and Information before being posted in Washington, D.C. (1988-2000) as Press Counselor at the Austrian Embassy in Washington, D.C.

----

Sylvia Gardner-Wittgenstein worked for the Press and Information Service in New York from 1970-1992 before it relocated from New York to Washington, D.C. Among other things, she was responsible for the photo archives, which proved very challenging because there were no electronic pictures in those years. Occasionally, one of the broadcasting stations urgently needed a photo of Federal Chancellor Kreisky or of other Austrian politicians for the “Evening News” which the Press and Information Service worked quickly to provide. Ms. Gardner- Wittgestein is currently with the Austrian Consulate General in New York.