Die Schöne und das Beast, Vienna

This picture captures the schizophrenic history of Vienna. I took it yesterday during the “Mozart Picnic” in the Augarten park. Blue skies, lovely music, gorgeous gardens. This is the Vienna of tourist imagination: Kultur and beauty oozing from the city’s every sophisticated pore.

And yet there it is, looming scarlike in the background, reminding us of a darker past: the German “Flakturm.”

I live about 10 minutes from Freud’s house. Austrians are justifiably proud of their artistic and intellectual heroes. Of course, Freud, a Jew, left Vienna in 1938. Such is the dark side of this place.

On a related note, the area where my son goes to school is fairly Jewish, but all the Jewish kids seem to go to Hebrew school instead of the local Volksschule. Understandable, but in a way, a shame.



  1. Hey Ronan, did a doubletake when I saw this pic…. I lived a few blocks from there in the summer of 1999. It’s in the second district yeah? Not far from Schwedenplatz? Or did we talk about this? Thanks for the pics.

    BTW, the front page of yesterday’s Washington Post showed pics of the first ordination of a rabbi in Germany since WWII. I found that quite interesting.


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