nazi austria

The History Behind ‘The Woman in Gold’

Easily one of my favourite paintings, by one of my most favourite artists, Klimt’s painting ‘Adele Bloch-Bauer’s Portrait’ is well-known for many reasons. Clearly seen it was created in Klimt’s “golden phase,” this painting is so striking not just for it’s beauty, but also its long and tragic history.

Adele Bloch-Bauer and her husband, Ferdinand Bloch, were close friends with the artist, Gustav Klimt. She modeled for Klimt on numerous occasions, and Ferdinand commissioned two portraits of his wife. The married couple were well-known lovers of art. Adele would entertain many artists at their home - from musicians to painters. The Bloch-Bauer’s were a prominent Jewish family in Viennese society. This is precisely why they were targeted by Nazis in the 1940’s. The Bloch-Bauer’s home was emptied of its beautiful and loved possessions - including Adele Bloch-Bauer’s portrait. Of course, no Nazi could have the portrait of a Jewish woman hanging in their home, so her name was erased from the painting’s history and instead given the title “Woman in Gold.”

Eventually the painting was collected by the Austrian state gallery, and became one of Austria’s artistic ‘Golden Age’ symbols. Her story does not end here, because years later, in 2000, Adele’s niece - Maria Viktoria Bloch-Bauer (Maria Altman) - sued Austria for the ownership of the painting. Maria remembered visiting her aunt’s and uncle’s home throughout her childhood. After Adele died, their visits included a viewing of the gorgeous golden portrait. While Maria later fled Austria and settled in America with her husband, she eventually returned decades later after being told that the painting was rightfully hers. In Adele’s will she had asked that her husband donate her paintings to the gallery, yet in her husband’s will he had left them to his family. After years and years of court hearings and trials, Maria finally won back the painting.

Adele Bloch-Bauer’s portrait now sits in a Manhattan gallery, after being purchased for $135 million (US). This portrait was just one of many that was looted during World War II. Thankfully, the history of the painting, the subject, and her family have the recognition they deserve. It’s tragic that so many pieces of art and family heirlooms are still lost because of the prejudices and crimes of those that abused their power. Those organizations not only wiped out families, but also sought to destroy any memory of them.

Movies and interviews have been made to show people the history of this famous painting, such as ‘Stealing Klimt’ (2007), and the film ‘Woman in Gold’ (2015) which I both highly recommend.

Above: Adele Bloch-Bauer’s Portrait (Woman in Gold, Adele Bloch-Bauer I.), 1907, by Gustav Klimt (1862-1918)

Where Is Freud's Famous Couch?

In March of 1938, the Gestapo raided Sigmund Freud’s office and interrogated his daughter, Anna. Austria had recently been annexed to Germany. The Freuds were prominent intellectuals and known to descend from Reform Jews (though Freud himself was atheist). It was time to leave. On June 4th, 1938, Sigmund, his wife, and his daughter all left Austria for London with almost no baggage. It was more important to be alive than to bring the family furniture. Two months later, with a lot of luck, most of their possessions were able to be shipped to the UK – including Freud’s famous couch. Sigmund set up practice in Hampstead, London, carefully re-creating his Vienna consulting room, including the couch. It now sits in the Hampstead house, which has been converted into a museum.

Nobody has a perfect relationship with their siblings, but it’s hard to imagine a fraternal beef as mighty as the one Albert Goering had with his brother Hermann. Hermann Goering was Hitler’s second-in-command, a fact that Albert was apparently none too pleased about. Albert’s disdain for his brother’s beliefs began the second Hermann joined the Nazi party, and so distressed was he by this fact, and Germany’s overall descent into madness, that he found himself fleeing to Austria in the 1930s. When the Nazis annexed Austria, he went to Prague. And when they took that, he went to Budapest.

Since “flight” didn’t seem to be working out for Albert, he began employing his “fight” reflexes instead. Using his name and connections, he secured exit permits for Jews, protected their assets, and even physically removed people from stormtroopers’ grips. For most people, that would have been a one-way ticket to murdertown, but despite their political differences, Hermann wouldn’t allow Albert to be harmed. They weren’t close during this period, and only ever interacted at a handful of what must have been spectacularly awkward family gatherings.

6 Unbelievable Tales Of Nazi Defectors You Never Knew About

Hoffmann Collection. Adolf Hitler at the Obersaltzberg. Date unknown. Heinrich Hoffmann (September 12, 1885 – December 11, 1957) was a German photographer best known for his many published photographs of Adolf Hitler. Hoffmann worked in his father’s photographic shop and as a photographer in Munich from 1908.He joined the NSDAP in 1920 and was chosen by its new leader Hitler as his official photographer.

“Oath of Buchenwald”, Held by Freed Inmates of the Concentration Camp on 19th April 1945

Speech held in French, Russian, Polish, English, and German on the mourning ceremony of the camp Buchenwald on 19th April 1945.


We Anti-Fascists of Buchenwald have gathered today to honor those

51,000 prisoners

Murdered in Buchenwald and its outposts by the Nazi Beast and its helpers!

  • 51,000 shot, hanged, trampled, beat to death, choked, drowned, starved, poisoned, sprayed [with water?]
  • 51,000 fathers, brothers, sons, died a cruel death because they were fighters against the Fascist murder-regime.
  • 51,000 mothers, and women, and hundreds of thousands of children accuse/denounce!

We left alive, we witnesses to the Nazi bestialities watched our comrades fall in impotent rage.

If there was one thing keeping us alive it was one thought:

The day of revenge will come!

Today we are free!

We thank the allied armies, the Americans, Englishmen, Soviets, and all armies of freedom that fought to give us and the entire world freedom and life.

We take this opportunity to thank the great friend of the Anti-Fascists in all countries, an organizer, and initiator of the fight for a new, democratic, peaceful world.

F. D. Roosevelt

Honor be to his legacy!

We Buchenwalders,

Russians, Frenchmen, Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, and Germans,
Spaniards, Italians, and Austrians,
Belgians and Dutchmen, Englishmen,
Luxembourgians, Romanians, Yugoslavs, and Hungarians

fought together against the SS, against the Nazi criminals, for our own liberation.

We carried one ideal:

Our cause is just! victory must be ours!

In many languages, we fought the same hard, merciless, costly fight and this fight is not yet over.
Hitler’s flags still fly!
The murderers of our comrades still live!
Our sadistic torturers are still roaming freely!
Thus we swear, in front of all the world, on this roll call square, this site of Fascist horror:

We shall only cease fighting when the very last guilty one stands before the judges of this earth!

The eradication of Nazism including its roots is our watchword.
The construction of a new world of peace and freedom is our goal.
That’s what we owe to our murdered comrades and their loved ones.

To show your readiness for this fight, raise your hand for the oath and repeat after me:


Michael Flynn, Trump’s pick for national security adviser, is courting Austrian neo-Nazis

  • Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump’s pick for national security adviser in his future administration, recently met with Heinz-Christian Strache
  • Starch is the leader of the Austrian far-right Freedom Party founded by literal Nazis after World War II.
  • Strache announced the meeting with Flynn on Facebook 
  • At the same time, Strache announced his organization was allying with Vladimir Putin’s party, United Russia.
  • The NY Times noted the “Euroskeptic, anti-elite, anti-foreigner, anti-Islam and anti-globalization” Freedom party has enjoyed a recent resurgence in Austria. Read more

Arthur Schnitzler (15 May 1862 – 21 October 1931) 

Austrian author and dramatist. Schnitzler’s works were often controversial, both for their frank description of sexuality (in a letter to Schnitzler Sigmund Freud confessed “I have gained the impression that you have learned through intuition – although actually as a result of sensitive introspection – everything that I have had to unearth by laborious work on other persons”) and for their strong stand against anti-Semitism, represented by works such as his play Professor Bernhardi and his novel Der Weg ins Freie. Schnitzler’s works were called “Jewish filth” by Adolf Hitler and were banned by the Nazis in Austria and Germany.  (Wikipedia)

From our stacks: Cover detail and frontispiece “Arthur Schnitzler. Photo: D’Ova, Vienna.” from The Green Cockatoo and Other Plays By Arthur Schnitzler. Translated into English by Horace B. Samuel. Chicago: A. C. McClurg & Co., 1913.

reminder that there’s a austrian politican who is actually in a lead position right now
and he is as worse as donald trump
but somehow people are still voting for him
if he wins all refugees are getting sent back to their country (where war is still happening right now!!!)
he wants austria to be an christian country only and all other religions either get sent back or have to change
people are referring to him as the “new hitler”
can we please spread the fuck outta this because i don’t want someone to lead who is a dickhead like him

Asperger’s Syndrome vs Autism

At various times in my life, I’ve been diagnosed with both these conditions. I currently identify with “Autism/Autistic” more than “Asperger’s/Aspie”, but reading about history has made me reconsider this.

Points in favour of identifying as autistic:

  • Autism is seen as a united spectrum condition. I can stand in solidarity with other autistic people.
  • As I have a degree of passing privilege, I can maybe present a “positive” view of autism that will benefit others indirectly.
  • I can more credibly advocate for the needs of other autistic people if I have the same label
  • It’s shorter, easier to pronounce, and better understood

However, the lives and approaches of Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger have led me to think that Asperger deserves more academic credit for autism’s discovery and his ideas about it.

  • Asperger was the first person to apply the “autism” name to the condition, although it was being used to refer to other (defunct) conditions previously. Kanner published first, but Asperger had been writing about it for years.
  • Kanner believed autism was a very narrow condition, turning away the vast majority of patients he encountered. Asperger quickly realised that it was a spectrum (this is the opposite of what I had come to believe - see below for explanation)
  • Asperger approached the condition from a “special education” perspective, aiming to help autistic individuals achieve their full potential by placing them in friendly environments that met their needs. Kanner approached autism from a psychiatric viewpoint, considering autistic children to be broken (although he tentatively revised this view when some of his patients grew up to be highly successful). He strongly supported the “refrigerator mother” theory, and treatments he proposed included aversive ABA and institutionalisation.
  • Kanner suppressed Asperger’s research; he was certainly aware of it, and was a German speaker, but he dismissed it out of hand, fearing that it would undermine his legacy. This is why “Asperger’s syndrome” is seen as a narrow condition - it fills the gap left by Kanner.
  • When the Nazis took over Austria, Asperger openly preached neurodiversity. Although thousands of autistic people were killed, he managed to save a few dozen (from across the spectrum) at considerable personal risk. 
  • However, it should be noted that Asperger recommended that at least one child be murdered to unburden her family, and sat on a panel (of seven) which recommended a further 35 “uneducable” children be murdered.

Correction: this post originally did not properly represent Asperger’s wartime actions with regards to murder of disabled children. Consequently, it was significantly more positive. I know longer feel confident recommending Asperger as more than a good scientist.

Perhaps understandably, among the first countries to put the most stringent limits on PGD were Germany and Austria—nations scarred by their legacies of racism, mass murder, and eugenics. In India, parts of which are home to some of the most blatantly sexist subcultures in the world, attempts to use PGD to “diagnose” the gender of a child were reported as early as 1995. Any form of sexual selection for male children was, and still is, prohibited by the Indian government, and PGD for gender selection was soon banned. Yet the government ban seems to have hardly staved the problem: readers from India and China might note, with some shame and sobriety, that the largest “negative eugenics” project in human history was not the systemic extermination of Jews in Nazi Germany or Austria in the 1930s. That ghastly distinction falls on India and China, where more than 10 million female children are missing from adulthood because of infanticide, abortion, and neglect of female children. Depraved dictators and predatory states are not an absolute requirement for eugenics. In the case of India, perfectly “free” citizens, left to their own devices, are capable of enacting grotesque eugenic programs—against females, in this case—without any state mandate.
—  The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee

anonymous asked:

Austria? Nazi

Oh if I had a dime for everytime someone called me a Nazi then I would live like the Queen of England. Yes we have been dragged into this stupid war but we did not want it. Hitler tried to get big in Austria first and he did not succeed, we really didn’t want Hitler. My great grandfather shot his SS-Sturmbandführer (idk the English word) and before the Germans could get to him the Russians got him. He was taken to the camps in Siberia and that is were he died at 46, leaving my great grandmother alone with 8 children. My other grandmother lost two of her brothers during WW2. My grandfather still has scars all over his face, he was only a child back then and god forgive if you didn’t do the Nazi salute in school at morning, his teacher took one of those long sticks they had back then and whiped him all over the face. We carry our burden with shame and sadness even if we never wanted to be a part of it but stop calling Germans/Austrians Nazis, we as children from this generation certainly have no fault at all!