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austria

World

The European Migrant Crisis And Historical Amnesia: A Personal Testament From Austria

The migrant crisis has, like an uncontrolled blaze tumbling through a dense forest, left few parts of Europe untouched. Stories of refugees abounded even in the part of Austria known as Burgenland, where I resided for a week during my travels on the Continent back in January. I was staying with the great-granddaughter of my great-great-grandmother’s sister, who happened to live in the small town of Breitenbrunn. This was the same town from which my great-great-grandparents emigrated in the later half of the nineteenth century to the United States in search of a better life. Burgenland, as with much of Austria and Bavaria, is quaint and idyllic. Neuseidl Lake, a popular tourist attraction in the summer, lies not far from Brietenbrunn. The region is known for its wine, and the birthplaces and residences of many a famous composer and their patrons – Haydn, Liszt, Hummel, and the Esterhazy family foremost among them – dot the countryside. Burgenland is well-connected to the hubs of central Europe: Vienna and Bratislava are… Keep Reading

Politics/World

Nationalist Parties Surge As Europeans Take Their Countries Back

With the success of Donald Trump’s campaign in the United States and the passage of Brexit in the United Kingdom, Americans who watch politics are seeing debates framed in a way that is entirely new to some. This new debate framework does not pit Republicans and Democrats against each other, nor does it concern itself with liberals and conservatives. The battle that is brewing – nationally, and inside both major political parties – is between the forces of globalism and the forces of nationalism. Modern Americans, before Trump’s candidacy, have never encountered a viable, strong nationalist candidate. The only exception was the presidential campaign of Pat Buchanan, who – interestingly enough – defeated Donald Trump to win the Reform Party’s nomination in 2000, and ran a campaign with the slogan “America First!”. “Nationalism” has been, since the 1940s at least, a sort of dirty word in American politics. University professors link nationalism and the Holocaust. Esteemed political commentators like Daniel Radcliffe warn us that nationalism is “scary as shit.” In… Keep Reading

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