Austria

New presidential election for Austria!

Published by carolyn on Fri, 2016-07-01 11:55

Austria's highest court on Friday ordered a rerun of the country's presidential election, giving Norbert Hofer (FPÖ - left) a second chance at the office after his narrow loss last month.

The decision was unprecedented in Austria's post-war history and beyond, appearing to be the first time that a nationwide election has been annulled and a repeat vote called in any European Union country.

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FPÖ files legal challenge against result of May presidential election

Published by carolyn on Wed, 2016-06-08 14:15

Norbert Hofer (left) and Alexander Van der Bellen share the stage during the Austrian Presidential election campaign in May.


GOOD NEWS! A CHALLENGE TO THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION RUNOFF, in which Alexander Van der Bellen was delcared the winner, was filed today by Freedom Party (FPÖ) leader Heinz-Christian Strache,

As you recall, it was the postal ballots that pushed former leader of the Green Party, Van der Bellen - who ran as an independent - over the line to defeat FPÖ candidate Norbert Hofer. The margin of victory was under 1 percentage point, or roughly 31,000 votes.

Strache filed an official challenge at the Constitution Court, saying “Without these glitches, irregularities and breaking of laws, Hofer could have become president. I think a re-election is very realistic."

Leopold Wenger's last letters from the Eastern Front, Aug. 1944-Jan. 1945

Published by carolyn on Fri, 2014-06-06 15:26

Poldi Wenger receives the Knights Cross from Generaloberst Otto Dessloch, Chief of Luftflotte 4, on 19 January, 1945, assisted by the General's adjutant. (click to enlarge)


copyright 2014 Wilhelm Wenger and Carolyn Yeager
Translated from the German by Carlos Whitlock Porter

First, an account of the fall of Sevastopol and the loss of Ukraine by the end of June 1944, assembled by Willy Wenger. The letters that follow, the last ones Leopold Wenger wrote to his family, spanned August '44 to January '45. Poldi had been in Ukraine since November 1943, relocating only slowly westward, but now his Group begins to move around, first to Poland, finally closer to Vienna.

Sevastopol Falls

In six to eight weeks, the situation looked quite different. The Allies had landed in Normandy. On 5 May, the 2nd [Russian] Guard Army went on the offensive on the west side of Sevastopol. On 7 May, the [Soviet] 51st Army and Coastal Army expanded their offensives to Balaklava and conquered the crest of the Sapun mountains, with which the German commanders, two years before, had sealed the [fate of the] siege. The German commanders now abandoned their lines all the way to Inkerman, where they intended to regroup for a counterattack, after gaining the relative security of the commanding mountain heights. The situation of the defenders was desperate. One German division after the other gave way. On 8 May, General Schörner issued an order to the Navy and Luftwaffe to make the best of a bad job. On 9 May, the Soviets liberated Sevastopol. A single German unit fought a rearguard action for four days on the Kherson peninsula to permit the embarkation of survivors.

Bicycle Adventures of an Austrian Teen - Part Two

Published by carolyn on Tue, 2013-05-21 20:13

From Leopold Wenger's Trip Diary

The Great Ride to Nuremberg
for the N-S Party Convention of 1937

copyright 2013 Wilhelm Wenger and Carolyn Yeager

Translated from the German by Wilfried Heink

Day one - passing the Dachstein mountains on the way to Schladming.


Sunday, August 29, 1937. My buddy Franz and I left Leoben at 6am. When passing the train station I suddenly discovered that I had left my canteen, full of tea, at home. I had no choice but to turn back.

We then continued. It was still cold, and also foggy; our clothes were soon damp. But the fog lifted and at Mauten we stopped for breakfast. Then a headwind picked up, making travel up the Schober Pass difficult. At the top we stopped at a farm to drink some milk; Franz encountered a little mishap but at 11:30 we arrived in Trieben. We did not stop, passed the Wörschach airport and at noon we were already passed Steinach. We rode through an open forest; later in open country with the sun beating down and stopped at an Inn in Diemlern for lunch. The ride from then on was boring, up to Gröbming when I noticed that the houses were different, almost flat roofs with boulders on them. We had climbed quite a ways up and now traveled downhill, the road condition changing. Passing Haus, we had our first glimpse of the Dachstein, with the peak hidden in clouds. At 4pm we arrived in Schladming; the town was celebrating the completion of a new church tower and we had problems getting through the crowds. Uphill from there, and at 4:30 we passed the border between Styria and Salzburg. We already had the Mandling pass behind us.

In half an hour we made it to Radstatt, having to push our bikes up a hill along the way. We looked for the hostel, found it outside the town and registered at 5:30. The pool was a welcome addition and in the evening a youth from Vienna joined us.

Bicycle Adventures of an Austrian Teen

Published by carolyn on Wed, 2013-05-15 16:32

From Leopold Wenger's Trip Diary

Out and About on the Bicycle

1936-1937

copyright 2013 Wilhelm Wenger and Carolyn Yeager

Translated from the German by Wilfried Heink

Leopold Wenger was born on Nov. 19, 1921; in July 1936 when his first diary-recorded bike trip began, he was only 14 years old. By the time of the rest of the trips recorded here (all of which took place before the annexation of Austria to Germany), he was 15 years old. Quite a responsible, resiliant, hardy and adventurous young National-Socialist "Hitler Youth" he was, who later became a valiant defender of the Reich.  My thanks to Willy Wenger for sending these diary entries to me – along with the photographs taken by 'Poldi (called Bibi by family) – and to Wilfried Heink for translating it from the German original – a large undertaking.

While this may not interest everyone, I believe it is of great value for comparing our youth of that time with our youth of today. -cy

P.S. On 6-5-2016 I linked the images to the file view, so just click on them for a larger view.

The Salzburg Journey, May 5-8, 1936

Sunday, July 5, 1936. We were to leave Leoben at 5:30, but I slept in and was picked up by Prommer and Horvat; we left Leoben at 5:45. We traveled via Edling to Seitz. Between Kammern and Mauten, we had to stop for the first time, my canteen/flask, fastened to my rucksack had slipped between the frame of my bike and the hind wheel during a descent. It acted as a brake, and the felt encasing was severely damaged.

The first rest stop was at the Schober summit. We arrived in Liezen at 12 noon in time for lunch. It had been extremely hot all morning. Past Steinach-Erdning we left the main road, pushed our bikes for one and a half hour over the Klachau pass and arrived in Bad Aussee at 16.45. We rested for awhile and at 17:00 we started to push our bikes to the Koppe, a very narrow pass used as a shortcut to Hallstadt. At about the border between Styria and Upper-Austria the road reaches its highest point, to the right a canyon used by the railroad. The road was in horrible shape; a car could never have driven through here. There were also warning signs posted: "Bicycle riders dismount, very steep grade, avalanche danger!"

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