Monday, July 10, 2006

Von Wien

Visiting Vienna is a very mixed experience. It's a gorgeous city, full of music, that is celebrating (all over) the 250th Birthday of Mozart. The place oozes hochkultur.

On the other hand, Austria is an integral part of ארץ הדמים. The worst Nazis were Austrians. The anti-semitism is palpable. It transcends the ages. Outside of St. Stephan's cathdral, I found a tryptich, which does not appear in the official guidebook. (I'm having connection problems, so I'll post it later.) It's a perfect example of the medieval, ugly Jew who bears responsibility for the sadistic murder of Jesus.

Later in the day, while walking toward my hotel, there was a pro-Palestinian demonstration.

OTOH, when I walked past Ruperts Kirche, a perfect 11th century Roamesque edifice, I was very aware of the presence of R. Isaac Or Zarua, R. Hayyim Or Zarua, R. Avigdor Qara, and (more modernly) H.P. Chajes, Moritz Gudemann, Adolf Jellinek and Joel Muller.

OTOH, it's only fifty km to Mauthausen.

Verily a mixed bag.


Eliyahu said...

My father z"l was born in Vienna and both his father and paternal grandfather are buried in the local cemetary there. When my father would visit Vienna every few years he would make his trips as brief as possible and focussed upon such being a visit to kivrei avot. He was disgusted by the hyprocracy of the Austrians. He would sarcastically recall the words of a Socialist prewar song the words of of which when translated are "we are all equally brothers". He then recalled how little such brotherhood was extended by his erstwhilte non-Jewish friends to their Jewish friends.

Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

I've heard someone say once that "all of Europe is one big Jewish graveyard".