The Unknown Europeans
One of the great fallacies of our time is the assumption that there is little left in Europe to be discovered. But there is still uncharted territory, regions which have remained terra incognita. Take, for example, the Aromanians, who has ever heard of them? Two Austrians, photographer Kurt Kaindl and author Karl-Markus Gauss, visited some of the smallest minorities of Europe, many of whom continue to struggle for their national survival today: the Sephardim in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Albanian-speaking Arbereshe in Italy, the Slavonic Sorbs in Germany, the Romanic group of Aromanians in the Balkans, and the Degesi in Slovakia.
Islam and Dialogue in Austria
Between burning cars on the streets of Paris and riots triggered by ‘cartoon wars,’ the debate about integration and multiculturalism in Europe has moved center stage with particular attention given to Muslim communities. Austria, a successor state of the multiethnic Hapsburg Empire, can look back at a long tradition of different ethnicities and faiths living together. It was the first European nation to fully recognize Islam on the state level with the Islamgesetz of 1912. This recognition granted Muslims in Austria the right to free exercise of their faith, as well as complete autonomy in matters of organization. Muslim pupils are entitled to Islamic religious classes in Austrian public schools; some 170 teachers are being paid by the state to teach their religion. Demographic diversity exists among the Muslim community in Austria despite their common religious faith.
Two Virtuosi for Mozart and Austria
Among the many concerts and events scheduled to celebrate Mozart's 250th birthday this year was a special evening of music and recognition presented by the Austrian American Council West (AACW) Los Angeles on February 25th. A large audience that included Austrian Consul Stefan Hochmuth, as well as the Consul Generals of Germany and Switzerland, gathered in the elegant San Marino manor of Mrs. Rosemarie Reisch to enjoy a recital as in Mozart's time, surrounded by great art and candlelight. The internationally renowned pianist, Maria Prinz enthralled the audience with works by Mozart and composers of his time, including a premiere performance of a concerto by Mozart's son, Franz Xaver Mozart. Prinz, the Bulgarian-born daughter of composer/conductor Konstantin Iliev, studied piano with Jörg Demus and Ivonne Lefébure, and has been Professor of Music at Vienna's University of Music and Performing Arts since 1987.
Peter Drucker - Toward a More Gentle Marketplace
Sixty years ago a generation of gifted Europeans had to recreate their lives in the United States, having been driven abroad by Hitler. Peter Drucker was one of them. His sense of “otherness” endowed him, like so many of his fellow émigrés, with a sense of detachment and a critical eye: “Neither actor nor member of the audience,” he writes in his 1978 memoir, Adventures of a Bystander. Through intuition, common sense and a lifetime spent in asking questions (“My greatest strength as a consultant is to be ignorant and ask a few questions”), Drucker found simple solutions to complex problems. Turning his attention to the marketplace, he transformed it into a more ideal working environment. He became one of the most influential management thinkers of the 20th century.
Euro Quiz II
After an interesting response to our first Euro Quiz, we continue with our second round in an on-going series. For those of you who have missed the first quiz on “Euromyths,” it is not too late. We encourage you to go back to the previous issue, start with Quiz I and continue with Quiz II, which will bring you closer to the new Europe through facts on the EU’s inner workings.
The Wealth of Nations
In this second series of articles on “Outstanding Members” here are some further European achievements: Having created hot technology to beat the cold, Estonia has turned into the Silicon Valley of the Baltic Sea. The recent development of ‘Skype,’ which offers free calls over the internet to millions keeping the world’s conversations going, has become a calling card for a country which feels at home with being ‘wired.’