Top Photo: Visitor Center at Malta Damm in Kaprun, Austria, built with Marshall Plan Funds. VERBUND
The overwhelming feedback on the last edition of Austrian Information about 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’s previous 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: From the liberation of Austria 70 years ago, including the rescue of the famed white Lipizzaner stallions of the Spanish Riding School, a closer look at the “State Treaty” and “permanent neutrality,” both allowing Austria to regain her full independence 60 years ago, to the rebuilding of the nation’s economy and academia thanks to the two landmark U.S. Programs, namely the Marshall Plan and Fulbright Austria, we explore the decisive role of the U.S. for the burgeoning Austrian Second Republic after World War II.
Building on that, we look at the unique system of the Austrian Social partnership, providing macroeconomic stability ever since. Furthermore, on the double anniversaries of 70 years of the United Nations (UN) and 60 years of Austrian UN membership, we examine Austria’s role in the UN as well as Vienna’s multinational identity as the 3rd UN-Headquarter, while former Austrian Minister for Foreign Affairs Peter Jankowitsch provides unique insights into Austria’s first membership of the UN Security Council 1973-74.
We also bring you the peculiar story of the Austria’s fogotten airline Montana, whose jet was confiscated by the U.S. government and subsequently served as “Air force Two,” shuttling the likes of Vice President Al Gore or then First Lady Hillary Clinton. As a prelude to his exhibition opening in Washington, D.C. in mid-January, Austrian photographic icon Erich Lessing talks about his life story to the director of the Jewish Museum Vienna, Danielle Spera.
Also, meet the Austrian consul general in Los Angeles, Ulrike Ritzinger, and read her and fellow Styrian Barbara Gasser’s insights into the Golden Globes, bringing you up to speed for the highly anticipated awards evening on January 10, 2016. Alas, this edition also marks the time to bid farewell to Ambassador Hans Peter Manz, who will return to Vienna upon completion of his four year mission, as well as to our chauffeur Amin Qaiser, retiring after almost four decades of service: Their remarks frame the present edition, providing it with a very personal note.