Euros vs. Yanks
On June 3, 2005, an unusual event took place on the soccer field of the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) in Washington, D.C.: the Transatlantic Challenge Cup. Staff members of the U.S. State Department were pitted against their European counterparts in a friendly soccer match. Europe was represented by diplomats from thirteen nations: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands and last, but certainly not least, the United Kingdom.
Janos Marton, Director of The Living Museum
Born in Hungary in 1949, Janos Marton grew up in the shadow of communism and the legacy of the Holocaust. His father, a dissident economist, was taken off to prison for six years on the day his son was born. In the 1960s the Martons received political asylum in Austria and moved to Vienna, where Janos attended high school and studied psychology. He became familiar with the artwork of the psychiatric patients at the Landers Clinic, a state hospital in Maria Gugging in the suburbs of Vienna.
The Living Museum
Some objects displayed at the Living Museum are manifestations of the mind in a psychotic state. Some are intensely political, some amusing. There is no common denominator. Some artworks were created using outdated kitchen equipment left on the premises, some were conceived on the basis of found objects.
A Twist of Irony?
To the layman his name may be unfamiliar, but the effects of his theories are found in everyday pursuits. For students of economics and social thought, Friedrich August von Hayek is an icon. He was a dominant figure in his day and an adherent of the Austrian School of economic thought, which dated back to the 1871 publication of Carl Menger's Principles of Economics (Grundsätze der Volkswirtschaftslehre).
Leopold’s Kafe & Konditorei
The origins of the Austrian coffee house culture are shrouded in legend - the legend of the Galician reconnaissance scout named Georg Franz Kolschitzky. During the siege of Vienna by the Turks in 1683, he smuggled messages in and out of the city, and as a reward for his services, received supplies of coffee left behind by the Turkish army. The enterprising Kolschitzky realized that the green beans had to be roasted and then ground before they would produce the black "Turkish drink." This bitter beverage was regarded as undrinkable by the Viennese until sweetened with a spoonful of the honey-based mead liqueur. Kolschitz-ky's first Kaffeehaus was the beginning of an enduring tradition.
First Woman Nobel Peace Prize
The year 2005 marks the commemoration of a Nobel Peace Prize winner who passionately believed that peace was achievable through ‘negotiation’ rather than by military offensives aimed at deterrence or outright war. While talk continues of revitalizing the effectiveness of international organizations such as the United Nations in settling disputes, this year celebrates a woman who was a moving force behind the creation of those very institutions.
Alice Mavrogordato’s Legacy
The painter that so greatly contributed to the Embassy's "face" is Alice Mavrogordato. She was born in Vienna in 1916, forced by the Nazis to leave Austria as a Jewish refugee, survived World War II in Great Britain and served as a translator at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials where she met her husband Ralph. The couple moved to the U.S. in 1951 and settled in the Washington, D.C. area, where Alice worked as an artist. She died in 2000. In a most noble gesture towards her country of origin she bequeathed her estate, a body of more than 300 graphic works and paintings, to the Republic of Austria. Mr. Ralph Mavrogordato and the Ambassador of Austria, Eva Nowotny, signed the Deed of Gift last month.
A Man for All Seasons (1925-2005)
Even at a time when multi-tasking has become a necessary ingredient of modern day, contemplating Milton A. Wolf’s achievements make us wonder how he did it. Along his life's journey of eighty years, he had been meteorologist, educator, businessman, diplomat, fundraiser and philanthropist. Behind such a multifaceted personality there had to be an exceptional mind and a relentless drive to improve his own life and that of others.