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I was born in Vienna, I grew up in Vienna, I went to school in Vienna, I graduated in Vienna, I studied in Vienna, I started my career in Vienna, I did theatre for the first time in Vienna, I did film for the first time in Vienna. There are also a few other Viennese details... But how much more Austrian can you get? ~ Christoph Waltz
In Vienna, it's impossible to be overlooked. You can only be ignored. ~ Alexander Löwen

Vienna is the capital and largest city of Austria, and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.757 million (2.4 million within the metropolitan area, more than 20% of Austria's population), and its cultural, economic, and political centre.


  • And for us in this country to think of having, for example, a dictatorship—a popular form of government in many countries to-day—would, on our part, be an act of consummate cowardice, an act of surrender, of throwing in our hands, a confession that we were unable to govern ourselves...In this country we do not want what I call the "get-rich-quick" mind. Speed and efficiency are very good things, and they are, perhaps, the idols of this generation. But they do not necessarily go together. Acceleration, as I have often said, is not a synonym for civilisation. It is quite true the State coach of this country may be going through heavy ground, the wheels may be creaking; but are you quite sure that the wheels of the State coach are not creaking to-day in Moscow, in Berlin, in Vienna? Are you quite certain that they are not creaking even in the United States of America?
  • The second cardinal tragedy [of World War I] was the complete break-up of the Austro-Hungarian Empire by the Treaties of St. Germain and Trianon. For centuries this surviving embodiment of the Holy Roman Empire had afforded a common life, with advantages in trade and security, to a large number of peoples, none of whom in our own time had the strength or vitality to stand by themselves in the face of pressure from a revivified Germany or Russia. All these races wished to break away from the federal or imperial structure, and to encourage their desires was deemed a liberal policy. The Balkanisation of Southeastern Europe proceeded apace, with the consequent relative aggrandisement of Prussia and the German Reich, which, though tired and war-scarred, was intact and locally overwhelming. There is not one of the peoples or provinces that constituted the Empire of the Hapsburgs to whom gaining their independence has not brought the tortures which ancient poets and theologians had reserved for the damned. The noble capital of Vienna, the home of so much long-defended culture and tradition, the centre of so many roads, rivers, and railways, was left stark and starving, like a great emporium in an impoverished district whose inhabitants have mostly departed.
  • I never knew the old Vienna before the war with its Strauss music, its glamour and easy charm. Constantinople suited me better. I really got to know it in the classic period of the Black Market. We'd run anything if people wanted it enough - mmm - had the money to pay. Of course, a situation like that does tempt amateurs but you know they can't stay the course like a professional. Now the city - it's divided into four zones, you know, each occupied by a power: the American, the British, the Russian and the French. But the center of the city that's international policed by an International Patrol. One member of each of the four powers. Wonderful! What a hope they had! All strangers to the place and none of them could speak the same language. Except a sort of smattering of German. Good fellows on the whole, did their best you know. Vienna doesn't really look any worse than a lot of other European cities. Bombed about a bit.
  • Well, the break-up of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the whole problem faced by this was probably one of the causes which made me shift my interest from pure natural science to political problems. It meant observing the collapse of the society and more especially, the collapse of the intellectual society of Vienna. The Vienna was, as you said and remained for a number of decades one of the great intellectual centers of the world. Nothing could be more exciting than Vienna of the 1920s and early '30s.
  • In Vienna, it's impossible to be overlooked. You can only be ignored.
  • Austria-Hungary was a predominantly rural society, but Vienna was toasted as one of the most cultured and cosmolitan capitals on earth, beloved of Franz Lehar and Thomas Mann. Lenin thought it a 'mighty and vivacious city.' Irving Berlin's 'Alexander's Ragtime Band' was sung there in English, and in 1913 it played host to the world premiere of Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion. It is an oddity of history that in the same year Stalin, Trotsky, Tito, and Hitler alike lived for some months in Vienna. The great American boxer Jack Johnson was star turn of that winter's season at the Apollo Theatre. Among a host of popular cafés, the Landtmann was the favorite of Sigmund Freud. The city represented a global pinnacle of snobbery: bowing, scraping, and even hand-kissing shopkeepers flattered their middle-class customers by adding an aristocratic 'von' to their names, and addressing them as 'Your Grace.' Domestic servants were subject to almost feudal routines: employment law entitled housemaids to only seven hours off a fortnight, every alternate Sunday. Aristocratic Viennese had a New Year's custom of pouring gobbets of molten lead into buckets of iced champagne, then trying to predict the future when they hardened.
    • Max Hastings, Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War (2013) (p. 10)
  • After Germany was defeated Austria fell into the Western camp and was assigned the status of Hitler's 'first victim'. This stroke of doubly unmerited good fortune authorized Vienna to exorcise its past. Its Nazi allegiance conveniently forgotten, the Austrian capital—a 'Western' city surrounded by Soviet 'eastern' Europe—acquired a new identity as outrider and exemplar of the free world. To its former subjects now trapped in Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, Romania and Yugoslavia, Vienna stood for 'central Europe': an imagined community of cosmopolitan civility that Europeans had somehow mislaid in the course of the century. In Communism's dying years the city was to become a sort of listening post of liberty, a rejuvenated site of encounters and departures for eastern Europeans escaping West and Westerners building bridges to the East.
    Vienna in 1989 was thus a good place from which to 'think' Europe.
    • Tony Judt, Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 (2005), Introduction
  • How beautiful Vienna would be without the Viennese!
  • In the West, America’s leaders called the shots. Reflecting their country’s essentially Manichean view of the world—a struggle between good and evil—they were skeptical of any kind of negotiations with the Soviets. And the lessons drawn from Munich and Yalta suggested that parleys at the summit were particularly dangerous. In June 1961 the disastrous meeting at Vienna served to confirm that precept. The bruising encounter between John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev constitutes almost a textbook lesson in how not to do summitry. And their meeting helped spark two of the most dangerous confrontations of the Cold War: the Cuban Missile Crisis and America’s quagmire war in Vietnam.
    • David Reynolds, Summits: Six Meetings That Changed the World (2007), p. 163
  • Austria had become the second German state in fact, because there German culture, now homeless in its old home, found a new country. The more violent the opposition to German National-Socialism, the more justified became the Austrian claim to be the representatives of the now homeless German culture and of the higher values of Germanism. To all intents and purposes Weimar had been exiled from the Third Reich and had found its home in Vienna.
    • Kurt Schuschnigg, The Brutal Takeover: The Austrian Ex-Chancellor’s Account of the Anschluss of Austria by Hitler, New York: NY, Atheneum (1971), p. 44
  • I was born in Vienna, I grew up in Vienna, I went to school in Vienna, I graduated in Vienna, I studied in Vienna, I started my career in Vienna, I did theatre for the first time in Vienna, I did film for the first time in Vienna. There are also a few other Viennese details... But how much more Austrian can you get?
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  • Encyclopedic article on Vienna on Wikipedia