The Oxford historians' discovery of Vienna

Monthly Archives: February 2017

Hitler in Vienna: Learning from the Best

My friend Helmut once said that he was perfectly happy for people to think, as they often do, that Beethoven was Austrian, while Hitler was German. Helmut, as you can imagine, is Austrian. Indeed, Beethoven, who was born in Bonn, spent such a long time of his adult life in Vienna that one can understand…
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Prince Eugene of Savoy – the Debauched Boy Turned Military Hero

In 1682, King Louis XIV of France was approached by a short and unprepossessing-looking young man, who asked to be allowed to enlist in the French army. The young man was Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663-1736), who, as the fifth son of one of the important, aristocratic families in France had two careers open to…
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Empress Sisi: The Most Beautiful Royal in Europe

Strolling through the streets of central Vienna, there are two faces staring at you from cups, mugs, fridge magnets, chocolates, coffee-boxes, and all the rest of the tourist paraphernalia. One is Mozart, as can only be expected, the other one is the Empress Elizabeth (1837-1898), the wife of Emperor Franz Joseph, affectionately known as Sisi.…
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The Sacher Café and Viennese High Society

Traditional coffee-culture was very much a bourgeois culture. Most Viennese coffee-houses catered for their usual clientele – middle-class, almost exclusively male, intellectual, and overwhelmingly Jewish (the last two often overlapped). In this sense, the café at the Sacher Hotel, founded in 1876, was a notable exception. It was at the Sacher that one could come…
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