Focus on Austria: German 200

2015 is a big year for Austria: 70th anniversary of liberation from National Socialism; 60th anniversary of the State Treaty, and 20th anniversary of Austrian membership in the EU. The meaning of these events has, over the years, changed quite a bit and in German 200 we will take the opportunity to look back not only at these events but at 100 years of Austrian history (1915-2015). The following questions will guide us:

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More on Ruth Klüger’s Visit

Last week, Ruth Klüger, retired professor of German Studies, writer, witness to and survivor of the Holocaust, has visited Agnes Scott College. I’ve been too busy catching up with administrative work to post this earlier, but I wanted to thank everyone involved in Ruth Klüger’s visit. Ari Strudler, energetic and multi-talented ASC sophomore was a forceful engine behind the entire effort; Hiram Ramirez from the ASC Center for Student Engagement was on top of the logistics; Profs. Christine Cozzens (English), Barbara Drescher (German Studies), Katharine Kennedy (History), and Nicole Stamant (English) for integrating Ruth Klüger’s book “weiter leben [Still Alive]” into their curricula; ASC president Elizabeth Kiss for delivering such a great introduction for Ruth Klüger.

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Author, Holocaust Survivor Ruth Klüger Visits Agnes Scott College

Ruth Klüger, professor emerita of German Studies and author of the critically acclaimed memoir “Still Alive,” is visiting Agnes Scott College to discuss both her work and her experiences with students and faculty.

On Wednesday, March 20, from 7pm to 9pm, a new documentary about Ruth Klüger, “Landscapes of Memory – The Life of Ruth Kluger” (Renata Schmidtkunz, 2011) will be screened, followed by a discussion with Ruth Kluger. The screening and the discussion will be held in the Letitia Pate Evans Dining Hall, Lower Level. This event is free and open to the public. (For directions and parking, please consult the Agnes Scott College website.)

Interview with Ruth Klüger (in German)

Ruth Klüger, Professor emerita of German Studies and Holocaust survivor, will visit Agnes Scott College in March 2013. A few months ago, the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung published an interview with her, which you can read here (in German).

Oktober 26: Austrian National Holiday

Today, Austria celebrates its “Staatsfeiertag”, the Austrian National Holiday. Officially, the day commemorates Austria’s declaration of “immerwährende Neutralität” [eternal neutrality]. This meant that Austria would stay out of any military pacts such as NATO or the former Warsaw pact and would not engage in any military actions other than self-defense.

It was that condition, which finally led to the signing of the so-called State Treaty of 1955. From 1945 to 1955, Austria had been occupied by the US, British, French, and Soviet armies as a consequence of World War II. While the Western Allied had more or less handed over sovereignty to the Austrian government, the Soviet Union used the Eastern parts of Austria as a pawn in the Cold War. Many feared that Austria would be partitioned similar to Germany, where the Soviet Union did not give up control over the Eastern zone, which eventually became the GDR.

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