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The New York Times, September 21, 1884, p.6:


    SZOLNOK, Western Hungary, Aug. 27.--We have descended the Danube to Vienna, and have come on here by rail via Pressburg [Bratislava] and Pesth...
    But before saying anything further about our Hungarian travels I must turn back to finish our voyage down the Danube, of which we took leave at Ofen [German for Buda, the western side of Budapest], to see him no more till we catch a passing glimpse of him creeping feebly in the last days of his dotage through the dreary swamps of Roumania.
    The afternoon train from Munich reaches Passau at midnight, and thence you start down the river toward Linz and Vienna at 3 on the following afternoon. The meeting of the Inn and the Danube, which rush together just beyond the tongue of land upon which the town of Passau is built, is perhaps a little too like a stream of water gruel rushing into a river of mutton broth to awaken any very artistic emotions.

    As to the Danube steamers themselves, they are like the poet's definition of hope: "Man never is but always to be" comfortable. Moreover, they contain a terrible trap for the unwary in the form of a tempting offer of separate staterooms, at a most exorbitant rate, for the benefit of those who may object to sleeping "heads and tails" in the general cabin.
    But woe to him who accepts the insidious proposal, for when evening comes he suddenly discovers that the boat stays all night at Linz, and that he might just as well have gone ashore there and slept much more comfortably at a hotel for half the money.

    But the scenery of the famous river between Passau [Germany] and Linz [Austria] might well atone for much severer trials of patience. The great dark hills, wooded to the very summits, hanging steeply over the broad, shining curves of the rushing Danube, carry one back to the Hudson at the very first glance. One almost expects to see West Point or Newburg emerge from the clustering trees, and to hear the familiar "All aboard" waking the mountain echoes. But every here and there, where the landslip or the pickaxe has scarred the green hillside, a huge gray rock starts out in hideous barrenness, as if threatening to come crashing down upon the smooth, white post road that winds along the bank below, with a tilt-covered wagon creeping slowly around its nearest bend and a heated pedestrian lying snugly in the shade of a spreading beech, with his knapsack beside him.

    Here and there, too, on the summit of some vast overhanging cliff, a gray crumbling tower, sole remnant of some once famous feudal stronghold, scowls down from amid its trees at the passing steamer. But these stray memorials of the gloomy past only heighten the picturesque effect of unnumbered tokens of the brisk and bustling present.
    Trim little hamlets cluster along every projecting headland or peer coyly through the treess of some dark, rocky gorge, from the shadowy depths of which a bright little stream comes dancing and sparkling to welcome Father Danube. Every halting place is a photograph of German village life, and might serve as a frontspiece for Goethe's Hermann und Dorothea.
    We see the portly host standing in the doorway of his snug little white-fronted inn, the jolly beer drinkers laughing and chatting in their shady bower, the tailor and the shoemaker working at their open windows, the soldier lounging past, with a self-satisfied glance at his jaunty blue uniform; the black-coated village parson exchanging a cheery "Guten morgen" with a burly farmer who is jogging along the road on is sober gray nag, the stout market woman, with her well-filled basket, and the pretty, blue-eyed Mädchen looking wistfully toward the approaching steamer, which may be bringing to her some fair-haired Karl or Wilhelm whom she has expected for many a day past.

    Linz itself is an intensely modern town adapted from the French, and chiefly remarkable for the fine bridge that crosses the Danube just in front of it. Below the town the banks are low, flat, and covered with bushes, while muddy islets crop up every now and then amid the thick, gray water.
    But we are soon among the hills again, and our Captain--a tall, good-looking fellow, with a mustache like a dragoon, who has brought back a very fair knowledge of English from his travels in Britain and America--points out with unmistakable pride the big factory-like palaces overhead, where those truly great men the Dukes of Coburg Gotha were graciously pleased to hunt all day and drink all night for the good of their people.

    But the landscape has something better to show us than the haunts of these royal gamekeepers. We plunge all at once between two vast wood-crowned ridges, piled up terrace above terrace into the very sky, with a few tiny white cottages clinging to their skirts as if to save themselves from tumbling bodily down into the river. Then appears the pretty little village of Grein or Kreuz, nestling snugly in the hollow of the dark hillside.
    And now the river narrows suddenly, and rushes headlong round a sharp curve, roaring and boiling like a waterfall. The Captain springs forward, shouting hasty orders to the two stout helmsmen who are making the wheel fly round like a firework. Then the water itself seems to slip away from beneath us, and the steamer appears to be dashing down the hill at full speed, and we know that we are in the grasp of the famous Strudel Rapid.

    Here it was that, about 400 years ago, according to the old German chroniclers, a very curious thing happened. There was a certain Bishop Bruno in these parts who was wont to entertain the Emperor whenever the latter passed up or down the Danube, and had one evening prepared for his reception as usual. That night the Bishop could not sleep, and when he fell into an uneasy doze, toward morning, it was only to dream that he had rung at the palace gate, and that the bell sounded like a passing knell. Waking in terror, he fell asleep again, and dreamed that he came up to the gate once more, and that the porter who opened it to him was Death.
    Then the Bishop thought it was high time to get up and dress. But daylight chased away his fears, and he gave the Emperor such a welcome that the latter insisted upon taking him down the river and entertaining him in turn.

    Just as they reached the Strudel Rapid, however, a voice came suddenly out of the empty air, "Ho, ho, Bishop Bruno, wither goest thou? Travel where thou mayest, thou shalt be mine ere sunset."
    This little incident somewhat dampened the spirits of the company, and more especially those of the Bishop himself, although he still revived a little when evening came, and still all went well with him.
    But the weird menace was not spoken in vain, for, as the chronicler tells us, "even as he sat at meat with the Kaiser and the sun was already nigh unto his going down, on a sudden there fell upon him a great beam out of the roof and smote him so that he died.

    To describe Vienna over again would be almost as bad as trying to say something new about Paris. Indeed, any accurate description of the capital of Austria might be transferred without much alteration to that of France. In strolling along the Prater or the Ringstrasse you are always haunted by a vague, puzzling sense of having somehow got back to the Boulevard Sebastopol or the Rue St. Honoré.
    It is quite a relief to turn from this spruce toy shop of smartness to the dark, narrow street in which the historical Church of St. Stephen is bricked up like poor Constance De Beverly in the monastery wall, or to watch the shadows of night come down over the dim, antique square, above which rises the monument that marks the spot whence the beseiged Viennese saw in 1683 the first gleam of the Polish lances coming to the rescue.

    What a day that must have been for the beleaguered citizens as they looked down from their walls upon the countless thousands of the Turkish host, and the little handful of gallant men who had dared to face it. Even brave John Sobieski shrinks from confronting such odds without some preparation, and the sun beginks to sink without a blow having been struck on either side.
    But the haughty Vizier of Turkey, Karo Moostapha [Kara Mustafa], as if bent upon rushing on his doom, cooly seats himself in front of his tent, and proceeds to sip coffee in contempt of his despised enemy. At the sight of this deliberate insult King John's bold blood kindles into fire.
    "Let God arise, and let his enemies be scattered!" he shouts, at the full pitch of his mighty voice. "Forward!"
    Down come the lances of Poland, sweeping away that great host like morning mist chased by a whirlwind. The spell of Turkish conquest is broken at once and forever, and every heart in Europe echoes the words uttered by Pope Innocent when the new reached Rome: "There was a man sent from God whose name was John."

    As the night train glides onward through the darkness from Vienna to Pesth, you are roused from your first sleep by a shrill call of "Wagram." It is strange to think that this quiet little place should have become a household word throughout the civilized world--a symbol of pride and glory to one great nation and of undying shame and bitterness to another. But once past it you may resume your slumbers with a clear conscience, for even the splendor of the full moon can do little to relieve the flatness of the country.
    A sudden halt and a shout of "Buda-Pesth" finally tell you that you have reached the capital of Hungary...
D. K. [DAVID KER]   

    The remainder of the above article, dealing with Budapest and other places in Hungary, is located at Hungary News & Links
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    The Republic of Austria is a landlocked country bordered by 7 other south and central European nations. The capital is Vienna. The area of Austria is 32,378 square miles (83,859 square km). The estimated population of Austria for July, 2007 is 8,199,783. The official language is German.

    Once the center of power for the large Austro-Hungarian Empire, Austria was reduced to a small republic after its defeat in World War I. Following annexation by Nazi Germany in 1938 and subsequent occupation by the victorious Allies in 1945, Austria's status remained unclear for a decade.
    A State Treaty signed in 1955 ended the occupation, recognized Austria's independence, and forbade unification with Germany. A constitutional law that same year declared the country's "perpetual neutrality" as a condition for Soviet military withdrawal. Following the Soviet Union's collapse in 1991 and Austria's entry into the European Union in 1995, some Austrian's have called into question this neutrality.
    A prosperous, democratic country, Austria entered the Economic and Monetary Union in 1999.
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History of Austro-Hungary 1889
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The New York Times, December 19, 1897, p.19:


They Are the Centres of the Social Life
of the Imperial City of the Hapsburgs.


A Queer Story as to Their Origin--
Characteristics of Some of the More Noted of
a Famous Lot of Eating and Drinking Places.

    VIENNA, Dec. 7.--The American who visits Vienna for the first time is struck by the number of cafés to be seen everywhere, giving one the impression of an Oriental tour. They number upward of 500. As Vienna was the first European city to introduce the modern café, it has, perhaps, a better right than other towns to have such an extraordinary number of these resorts.
    At Vienna, moreover, every one goes to the café--men, women, priests, and children. The café is the centre of social life. It is there that the Government's policy is discussed, business transacted, and the latest play criticized.

    At 4 o'clock in the afternoon it is with difficulty that a seat can be had in one of these popular meeting places. At that hour every Viennese partakes of his afternoon coffee, which fills the place of the Englishman's 5 o'clock tea.
    These cafés are regular reading rooms; many of them take as many as 500 different newpapers, and often fifteen copies of the same paper (some popular Austrian or foreign sheet) are on file. Whenever a foreigner enters a café the experienced waiter recognizes his nationality. If he be an American, a New York daily is brought to him; if a Frenchman, a Paris boulevard paper is set before him, and so on. If a Russian enters, a box of cigarettes is at once forthcoming.

Characteristics of the Cafés.

    The afternoon coffee is of two kinds--either a "mixture" served with cream, like the French café au lait, or a capucin, served without milk. Whether it be a mixture or capucin, the Viennese coffee is by far the best to be had on the Continent, and justly famed.

    Each Vienna café has its own typical clientele, characteristics, and history. At the Café de l'Europe may be seen the prominent foreigners passing through Vienna. The Austrian noblemen go to the magnificent cafés on the Graben and the Ring.
    The café of the National Hotel is the favorite rendezvous of pleasure seekers. There congregate the Vienna jeunesse dorée, actors, actresses, journalists, and cocettes.
    The Café Daum, closed a few years ago, was the most famous café in the annals of Vienna. There famous politicians, military aristocrats, statesmen, and courtiers, some of the best-known names in latter-day Austrian history, were to be met. The history of the Daum Café was, in fact, the history of Austria itself from 1848 down to the present decade.

Regulars and Transients.

    Cafés are for the Viennese like a second house, and they all have two kinds of clients, the stammgäste, or habitués, and the laufende, or transients. The habitués, commonly called wirthausbrüder, (café brothers,) have tables reserved for them, and woe betide the man who ventures to take possession of this sacred property. There are many Viennese who, in the past thirty or forty years, have sat at the same table in the same corner, day after day, drinking the same brew of beer or brand of wine, and smoking the same sort of tobacco in the same old pipes.

    A stammgäste generally spends from three to four hours every day at his café, the natural result being a great loss of time and money. But the Viennese are not miserly. The maxim they follow is found in the German proverb, which seems to have been written on purpose for them: Leben und leben lassen-- "Live and let live."

Cosmopolitan Eating Cellars.

    Besides these cafés, there are a number of "restaurant cellars" in Vienna, similar to the cellars at Leipsic, Hamburg, and Bremen, where people go to drink wine and partake of delicatessen, pâtés, oysterse, caviar, smoked fish, Westphalian sausages, and other eatables of the same general sort.
    There are certain cellars, like the old Felsenkeller, which are arranged like grottoes. The Felsenkeller has been visited by many European celebrities, and on its walls are scratched the autographs of Victor Hugo, Meyerbeer, Wagner, Brahms, Alexandre Dumas, father and son, and many others.

    The most picturesque of these cellars is the Esterhazy Keller, open every day from 11 A. M. until 1:30 the following morning. In this subterranean resort there are no tables, chairs, or gas lights. A few old benches against the walls and some wretched candles are the only furnishings.
    The demi-monde, the petit monde, and the quart de monde frequent this cellar to a great extent. A perfect Babel of languages prevails--German, Polish, Czech, Russian, French, Hungarian, Slavonian, Italian, Servian, Bulgarian, Roumanian, and Greek may all be heard spoken in the space of a few minutes, giving a splendid idea of Vienna's cosmopolitan nature, and a striking proof that the imperial capital of the Hapsburgs is not a German city, but a town which is neither European nor Oriental, and possessing a cachet of its own, which partake both of the East and West.

    Notwithstanding the bohemian aspect of this Esterhasy Keller and the poor quality of the food provided, the two kinds of wine served are worthy of a royal table.

Good Native Wines are Plenty.

    Excellent wine is to be found at all Vienna cafés, much of which is native. Austria and Hungary together grow some fifteen different wines. Emperor Charles IV. transplanted in 1348 vines from Burgandy to Melnik and Czernosek. In Lower Austria vineyards are found 6,000 feet above the sea level.

    The wines of Gumpoldskirchen, Voeslau, and Klosterneubourg can vie with Burgundy and certain Rhine wines. In Southern Tyrol, in Styria, Carinthia, Moravia, Illyria, Dalmatia, Hungary, and Croatia first-class wine is made, and forms in the Slav provinces the habitual drink of rich and poor alike.
    The consequence is that the Slav races of Austria are far more energetic and of finer physique than the purely German Austrians, who become bloated by excessive beer drinking.

Good Food is Scarce.

    It is not easy to find good food at the Vienna cafés and restaurants, however. The Viennese manner of cooking is as international as are the Viennese themselves. The best is found at the hotels, all of which have three different classes of restaurants--one underground for the petits employes and coachmen, one on the ground floor for the Viennese upper and middle classes, and finally one on the first floor for foreigners.
    For 50 cents of American money a Viennese gets a portion of meat, a vegetable, and a sweet dish, which is certainly not cheap when compared to other Continental capitals. The usual time for dinner is from 1 to 3 P. M., and supper is taken at any time between 7 and 11.
    As the theatres are over by 10, supper is taken afterward. At that time of night every café in Vienna is crowded. A Viennese who has gone to the theatre with his wife and children would fracture all conventions if he did not take his family to sup at a café.

The Origin of the Café.

    This story is told of the origin of the modern Vienna café. It was in 1683, when Vienna was besieged by the Turks. Notwithstanding the heroic defense of Count Rudiger Stamberg, the Viennese saw the time approaching when they would be compelled to capitulate, if help from without did not reach them.
    One morning Kulczycki, a handsome young Pole, presented himself to Starmberg and offered to cross the Turkish lines and warn the army of reinforcements of Vienna's desperate condition. Starmberg accepted the offer, and that night Kulczycki, disguised as a Turk, left the besieged city and entered the Ottoman camp.

    He was at once arrested and taken to the Commander in Chief. In answer to questions put to him, he replied that he was a Belgrade merchant, and had come to propose a new plan of furnishing provisions to the Turkish army. The Commander in Chief was pleased with the proposal, and ordered the young man to be set at liberty.
    Kulczycki then, without exciting suspicion, was able to approach the Austrian army of relief and give the necessary information. A few days later Sobieski and Charles of Lorraine took the Turks by surprise and completely routed them.

    When Count Starmberg sent for Kulczycki and asked him what reward he desired, Kulczycki answered that all he wanted was the provision of green coffee which the Turks had abandoned in their camp. This strange request was at once granted, and Kulczycki, who knew the use the Turks made of the green beans, but until then entirely unknown to Europeans, began to sell coffee, first in the streets of Vienna and later on in a small shop.

    As the popularity of the new beverage increased, Kulczycki had to seek larger quarters,and at his death, in 1703, he was the proprietor of a prosperous café, the first of the kind in Europe, and direct forerunner of our modern cafés.
B. C. DE WOLF.   

The New York Times, February 20, 1920:


    It is impossible for Americans to feel anything but sympathy and approval for the demand of France to be secured against a renewal of German aggression, but when France uses this feeling as the basis for a protest against the union of German Austria with Germany it becomes necessary to see whether the facts justify it. The French argument is a simple one--German Austria would add 8,000,000 people to Germany, and the danger across the Rhine would be that much greater.

    As against this three arguments may be brought. In the first place, Germany will lose her French, Polish, and perhaps her Danish territory, so that, allowing for war losses, her population, even with German Austria included, would be hardly greater than before the war.
    Secondly, the Peace Conference is presumably making an international arrangement which will keep Germany in restraint; and for a body of nations so powerful as that now formed, it will be no harder to control 68,000,000 Germans than 60,000,000.
    Thirdly, Germany controlled Austria before the war, and not only Austria, but Hungary and all the races subject to these two states. That is to say, Germany regarded as a military Power consisted of the German Empire, with perhaps 70,000,000 people, and the Dual Monarchy, with 50,000,000, a total of 120,000,000. Of these more than 40,000,000 have been taken away by the liberation of the subject peoples of Austria-Hungary and the breaking of the Austro-Hungarian Ausgleich. The man power of Central Europe has been reduced by a third, and to cut off the few millions of German Austria would make little difference with what is left.

    Austria in a moderate Germany will quite conceivably be a moderate, an anti-Prussian force, strengthening devolutionary and anti-militarist tendencies wherever found; for her imperialists were Austrian imperialists, whose occupation is gone since the fall of the Hapsburgs, and who were always uneasy under Prussian control. But German Austria standing alone would be as wholly at the mercy of the dominant element in Germany as was the Dual Monarchy before the war. She would have less influence on German policy than if she were a State of the new "Volksreich," for her only salvation would be in following the orders that came from Germany, whoever gave them and whatever they might be. Austria is a poor and small country, and cannot stand alone economically or politically.

    The French opponents of her union with Germany recognize this to some extent, and favor her entry into a Danube confederation. It is not hard to see in this the survival of the old theory that if Austria, in the sense of a monarchy uniting a dozen discordant peoples, did not exist, it would be necessary to invent her. But however true this may have been in 1848, or even in the sixties, it is a hopelessly antiquated view today. The Slavs and Latins of the Dual Monarchy have won independence after a bitter struggle, which has left them little disposed to any kind of federation with their old masters. The reasons for this appear, to some extent, in a statement by Otto Bauer, Foreign Minister of German Austria, which appeared in the Vienna Arbeiter Zeitung some weeks ago. Bauer had no confidence in the possibility of even a customs union, which for obvious reasons was favored by business interests in Vienna, and one of his objections was that, if such a union existed, the old dynastic and aristocratic groups would be constantly intriguing for its conversion into a political union. That is to say, Austria in a Danube confederation might, in conjunction with the landed nobility of Hungary, do her best to restore the old monarchy, which would add 40,000,000 more to the mass east of the Rhine.

    The chance of achieving this would be, of course, of the slightest, but there is no reason why we should insist on a political organization which would keep the dying Hapsburg imperialism alive. Union of Austria with Germany would kill it. Even a customs union, Bauer thought, would be impossible on account of the differing degrees of industrial development and the conflicting interests of the nations which composed it. France will be safer if the Slavs are left to themselves, and if Austria is added to such German elements as may counterbalance the Prussian militarists.

Post WWI Austria remained independent of Germany until the Anschluss of 1938, by which time they could have no real voice in German government at all.