Dear Austrians and friends of Austria in the Western United States!
Today, I am proud to present to you the first - the inaugural - issue of the new electronic newsletter "Contact:US-A", prepared on a bi-monthly basis by the Austrian Consulate General in Los Angeles. In this newsletter we will provide you with interesting and timely information about "Austria-related" news from the worlds of business, politics, science and culture in the Western United States.
In our first issue you will find - among others - a story about the oldest Holocaust survivor, Austrian Leopod Engleitner, who at the age of 101 years (!) came to the United States for a lecture tour this May. While his life story is both terrifying and uplifting, his stamina and good humor are nothing less than fascinating. Upon his last lecture in Los Angeles he concluded his remarks with a famous quote: "I´ll be back" - we all certainly hope he will be.
As many of you will know: in 2006 Austria - and for that matter the whole world - celebrates the 250´s birthday of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. However, 2006 also commemorates the 150´s birthday of another great Austrian: Sigmund Freud, the "father of psychoanalysis". Honoring this anniversary the Austrian Consulate General will bring - in close cooperation with the Skirball Center - an exhibition to Los Angeles which deals with Freuds observations on humor and takes a tounge-in-cheek look at depth psychology. This exhibition, opening at the Skirball Center on September 13th, 2006, has been put together by Michael Freund, an Austrian Journalist and Academic, who is also the author of the attached article.
The oldest concentration camp survivor on lecture tour in the US
In May 2006, the World's oldest known concentration camp survivor – 101 years old Austrian Leopold Engleitner – brought his legacy to the United States. Leopold Engleitner, who is the subject of the book and prize-winning documentary film, "Unbroken Will" toured the United States in the month of May in order to share his experiences as a World War II conscious objector during lectures in five different cities (Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles). He was accompanied by his friend and biographer, Bernhard Rammerstorfer.
The man who changed American cuisine: Wolfgang Puck
In case you want to know more about the man who changed the way Americans cook and eat - master-chef Wolfgang Puck - please read the interview he gave Consul General Martin Weiss. In this interview you will find out why Wolfgang Puck almost jumped from a bridge at the age of fourteen, why he came to the United States and how he managed to succeed at the top of US cuisine for almost thirty years.
Why do the Austrians have two offices in Los Angeles? What does a Trade Commission do? Well, these and other questions should be answered in the first electronic newsletter of the Austrian Consulate General in Los Angeles. First of all let me congratulate Martin Weiss and his team for starting this newsletter and trying to reach everyone in the area who is interested in Austrian affairs. Martin and I have similar targets: Letting you know about Austria, reaching out, making friends for Austria and finally making more and better connections between the USA and Austria.
Hubertus Czernin (*1956 - +2006), one of the most prominent Austrian journalists and editors, passed away in June 2006. Czernin, for many years Editor-in-Chief of the Austrian news magzine Profil, had only recently visited Los Angeles on the occassion of the opening of a Klimt exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. It was largely due to his research that questions regarding the history and provenance of these paintings were raised. These questions finally lead - after years of legal dispute - to the restitution of the paintings to the Bloch-Bauer heirs, following a decision by an Austrian arbitration panel earlier this year. As one of Czernins successors, Profil Editor-in-Chief Christian Rainer has put it: Hubertus Czernin was a convinced Austrian who knew that his native country had to face up to its past in order to overcome it and be prepared for the future. Hubertus Czernin was a courageous and powerfully eloquent man. He will be greatly missed.