Event report: Exile and the Dispersion of a Culture - the Austrian Experience Symposium in Ottawa, Canada

bridges vol. 16, December 2007 / Noteworthy Information

by Hans Reichenfeld

ottawa2.jpgOtto Ditz (left) and Hans Reichenfeld at the Austrian Experience Symposium in Ottawa

On October 31, 2007, Otto Ditz, Austrian ambassador to Canada, hosted and chaired a symposium at his residence in Ottawa with an invited audience of some 90 persons from Ottawa, Montreal, and rural Ontario. The audience came from different walks of life, and was almost as diverse in their background and interests as the speakers and the topics covered in their presentations.   
Franz A. J. Szabo, of the Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies, University of Alberta, started off the proceedings with a detailed account of the extent of Jewish emigration from Austria during the inter-war period.
Ludwig Laher, a well-known independent writer from St. Pantaleon in Upper Austria, gave a vivid description of the interaction between Stefan Zweig and his erstwhile "friend," author of romantic novels and poems Franz Karl Ginskey, who was subsequently proud to prove his long-standing membership in the Nazi party.

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