Historical Vienna

Vienna is a historical and cultural repository of Europe’s best and worst times over the centuries. Archaeological remains provide evidence that the site has been populated since the Neolithic times. In 500 BC, Celts settled there and called it Vedunia. Around 15BC, Romans fortified the settlement they called Vindobona to guard against Germanic tribes from the north. In 976, Vienna came under Babenberg rule. The district grew into the Duchy of Austria, eventually expanding to lands immediately east. In 1440 the city became the residence of the Habsburg dynasty, and in time became the de facto capital of the Holy Roman Empire and an important cultural center. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the Ottoman armies were stopped at Vienna’s gates. The Habsburg dynasty and the Austro-Hungarian Empire would eventually include Bosnia-Herzegovina, Czechoslovakia, Croatia, Slovenia, and parts of Italy, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine. World War I spelled an end to the empire, and in 1919 Vienna became the capital of the First Republic of Austria. With the Anschluss Austria became a part of Nazi Germany’s Third Reich. Upon defeat, Austria was occupied by the Allied forces, finally regaining their independence in 1955, when it became the second Republic of Austria.

For a fuller description of Vienna’s history and culture, see: https://www.britannica.com/place/Vienna

Some more specific links for the 20th century history of Vienna relevant to the novel: Austria between the World Wars https://bigsiteofhistory.com/austria-between-the-world-wars/ Images of Austria between the wars https://www.pinterest.com/eveneuhaus/vienna-between-the-wars/ Austrian Civil War https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austrian_Civil_War Anschluss https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anschluss Deportations from Vienna during the war https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/vienna The Vienna Offensive leading to Vienna’s liberation https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vienna_Offensive The years of Allied Occupation of Austria https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allied-occupied_Austria Austria’s independence from occupation and the State Treaty that reestablished its sovereignty https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austrian_State_Treaty

The Ritchie Boys

The Ritchie Boys were the US special military intelligence officers and enlisted men of World War II who were trained at Camp Ritchie in Maryland. Many of them were German-speaking immigrants to the United States, often Jews who fled Nazi persecution. They were primarily utilized for interrogation of prisoners on the front lines and counter-intelligence in Europe because of their knowledge of the German language and culture.https://www.defense.gov/Explore/Features/story/Article/2064692/ritchie-boys-aided-armys-efforts-to-defeat-germany-during-wwii/ ; Videos: https://www.menemshafilms.com/the-ritchie-boys https://www.rallypoint.com/shared-links/jews-in-us-army-during-the-world-war-two-ritchie-boys,

My uncle Otto was a Ritchie Boy

Note: also please see the Historical Notes on the Radetzky March and on Schoenberg and Wittgenstein in the Music section of the Cultural Vienna page.

The Marshall Plan https://www.britannica.com/event/Marshall-Plan


A tram ride through Vienna in 1906, colorized and remastered: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBLpxvlEhnI

A short film by Benjamin Swinczinsky, with English subtitles, about Engelbert Dolfuss and Austro-fascism: “Heldenkanzler”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhLm4hBGv6U

Trouble in Vienna, Austria’s Civil War https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubPPgS2eDpU

Dollfuss and the Austrian Civil War – British Movietone – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBmHuirpwMs

Opera Ball, Vienna, 1938 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKj7V0yI7jI

Edward R. Murrow on Hitler’s Entry into Vienna https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fp3PFEfoBKk

Vienna’s Enthusiastic Welcome of Hitler https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRSwWuVtHF4

GI Jews – Jewish Americans in WWII https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sl8XoAPNsxA&feature=emb_rel_end

Visit to War-ravaged Austria https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2B9k454Xbhw

Victory Round-up https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n96hb8Uqb

Post-war Occupation of Vienna https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ENqk13aY3c

“THE INVISIBLE LINK” 1951 Information film about the Marshall Plan in Austria https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5K7hpRHsHw

Austria Regains Independence, 1955 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBRsXsg91CM

Hungarian refugees escape to Austria in 1956 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yV57b0sW9c

COMEDY: Mitchell and Webb mock the Nazis https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hn1VxaMEjRU and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYz1ADttI1g&t=44s

A Few Extras for Readers of “All That Lingers”:

1936 Olympics in Hitler’s Berlin – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=845F1E8tFKE

Leni Riefenstahls film “Olympia” 1936 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3LOPhRq3Es

SS America public rooms and accommodations – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0Hfm9A1ngk

My mother’s cousin Helly who was euthanized by the Nazis

Non-fiction Book Recommendations

Please note that I have included the Amazon link for each book. If you would prefer to support local bookshops, please go to http://Bookshop.org OR http://IndieBound.org

“A landmark historical vision, drawing on hitherto untapped sources to illuminate two crucial years in the life of the extraordinary city of Vienna-and in the life of the twentieth century.”
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