All things Austrian-American since 1948

Dear Readers,

The overwhelming feedback on the last edition of Austrian Informationabout Vienna’s grand boulevard, the Ringstrasse,  has gratified our small team. Thank you for this encouragement to push our endeavors further, seeking thematic stringency and quality without neglecting entertainment and reading pleasure. As foreshadowed in Austrian Information’sprevious issue on the Ringstrasse , the present edition is to be seen as its modern counterpart, exploring many more anniversaries of 2015 with a special focus on contemporary Austro-American relations.

A Time to Bid Farewell

By Ambassador Hans Peter Manz

It is always a bittersweet moment when a posting comes to an end. Looking back, you remember the many people met, the wonderful places visited and the more or less successful efforts to accomplish your mission – and it is hard to let go because you know about the projects in the pipeline and that you will not be there to see them completed. But you also look forward to returning home and reconnecting with old friends.



Rebuilding a Nation

The End of World War II in Austria

By Günter Bischof

For the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe, a number of substantive books appeared on the collapse of the Hitler regime and the Third Reich, among them Ian Kershaw’s signature study The End . All of these books touched upon the end of the war in Austria only marginally, as a sideshow of the demise of the criminal Nazi regime. Yet, as the war ended, most of Austria, parts of Bavaria and Bohemia was all that was left of the once mighty Third Reich that had controlled much of Europe only a few years before.

The Liberation of the Salzburger Land in May 1945

The Story of the 3rd Infantry Division in Europe

by Timothy R. Stoy

The fascinating history of the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division in Europe in 1945, written by the Historian for the Society of the 3rd Infantry Division.

Operation Cowboy

How the U.S. Army Saved Austria’s Famous Lipizzaner Horses

By Irina Bindlechner

The Spanish Riding School and their Lipizzaner are one of Vienna’s most cherished attractions.However, it is a lesser known fact that during the final days of World War II the U.S. Army played an integral part in rescuing the Lipizzaner by smuggling them into safety and securing the legacy of the Spanish Riding School and its great heritage.



Helping Those who Help Themselves

The Marshall Plan and its Austrian Legacy

By Wolfgang Petritsch

 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War and also the 60th anniversary of the regaining of Austria’s sovereignty. Within the 10 years between 1945 and 1955, Austria recovered successfully from the outcome of the Second World War. Although occupied by four powers after the war, Austria managed to reconstruct its economy, society and polity after the war. One important factor in this vast effort of reconstruction, especially with regard to the economy, was American Marshall Plan aid. With the Marshall Plan, the United States supported European reconstruction after the Second World War; it was the largest economic aid program ever. Within the framework of the Marshall Plan – officially known as the ‘European Recovery Program’ (ERP) – every American citizen contributed an average of 80 U.S. dollars towards European recovery, at the time about two weeks’ pay for a skilled worker.

Fulbright Austria: Transforming Lives

65 Years of Academic Exchange

By Lonnie Johnson

This year marks the 65th anniversary of Fulbright Austria. Over 2,400 U.S. citizens and 3,600 Austrian citizens are proud to be alumni of the Austrian-American Fulbright program, which claims 360,000 alumni in 150 countries worldwide.

Austria’s Permanent Neutrality

By Helmut Tichy

Austria’s international legal status of permanent neutrality is a result of the Cold War. In the Moscow Memorandum, a political document of April 15, 1955, the Austrian delegation promised that Austria would adopt a status of neutrality following the Swiss model. This promise opened the way for the conclusion of the negotiations of the Austrian State Treaty with the Soviet Union, the United States, the United Kingdom and France, the signature of this Treaty on May 15, 1955 and the withdrawal of the Allied Forces which had occupied Austria since 1945.

The Austrian Way

70 Years of Social Partnership in Austria

By Julian Steiner

The Austrian model of Sozialpartnerschaft (social partnership) describes the institutionalized relationship between the government, political parties and certain interest groups in the field of labor, social, and economic policy. While it is widely recognized as a key element in Austrian politics since the end of World War II, social partnership is neither anchored in the Austrian constitution nor laid down in any specific act.

“Never Again!”

The Austrian Future Fund Celebrates 10 Years

On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Future Fund of the Republic of Austria, a new book describes the emergence of this important Austrian remembrance funding association and takes a retrospective view on the last years.

Punching Above Her Weight

60 Years of Austria in the UN

Austria and the United Nations enjoy a long and successful relationship. In the years following World War II, Austria benefitted greatly from relief and assistance provided by the United Nations

A Turbulent Time

Austria’s Entry Into the UN Security Council (1973-1974)

By Peter Jankowitsch

When Austria first entered in 1973, the Security Council was a vastly different body compared to the Council it is today. The five permanent members, still split by the conflicts of the Cold War, did not dominate the work of the Council as much compared to the time after the newfound solidarity from 1989 onwards.

Austria's Forgotten Airline

By Hannes Richter

The story of Montana Austria, Austria’s first private intercontinental airline, is curiously intertwined with the United States. Founded in 1975, it connected Vienna with destinations around the globe such as Tokyo, Hong Kong, Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City, as well as Anchorage, New York and Los Angeles in the United States. However, after declaring bankruptcy in 1981, one of its planes flew many prominent U.S. officials, like Vice President Al Gore or then First Lady Hillary Clinton.

Life in a World in Between

Danielle Spera Talks to Erich Lessing

The Director of the Jewish Museum Vienna, Danielle Spera, talks to Austrian photographer Erich Lessing about his life, work and faith. 

Parts of his work will be shown at the Embassy of Austria starting January 20, 2016 as part of The Jewish Museum on International Court: Erich Lessing. Andrew Mezvinsky.

Austria in the Universe of the Globes

By Ulrike Ritzinger

On January 10, 2016, the 73rd annual Golden Globes will be awarded at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles. In the lead up to the event starting in fall, the advertisement campaigns of production companies and publicists in Los Angeles get into full swing on recently launched movies as they have to position themselves for the upcoming Globes.

From Styria to Hollywood

A Conversation with Barbara Gasser, Member of the HFPA


Meet the Consul

Ulrike Ritzinger, Los Angeles


The End of an Era

Driving Ambassadors, Delegates, and Presidents for 38 Years

A Conversation with Mian Muhammad Qaiser Amin.