Even with all the tourists there, it’s hard to resist a visit to Café Central, the famous Wiener Kaffeehouse where great writers and philosophers used to meet. Reading the newspaper, I wondered what they would think if they saw today’s headlines about the growing ‘Judenhass’ in Europe.
What would Sigmund Freud, or writers Karl Kraus and Hugo von Hofmannsthal say about the increasing tension in the Middle East, Austria and the rest of Europe today?
Like the Dutch, the Austrian newspapers report of a growing, ‘new antisemitism’ that’s being fed by the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the killing of so many innocent people. And like in The Netherlands, also in Austria there have been violent attacks. Last week, a preseason soccer match in Salzburg had to be abandoned after pro-Palestinian protesters invaded the pitch and started attacking the Israeli soccer players. Some intellectuals now suggest that the Austrian police should be trained in how to deal with antisemitism, thus the newspaper Der Standard.
Sitting here in this romantic Kaffeehause, listening to the pianist playing and eating a home made Sachertorte, it’s like living in a fairy tale while the rest of the world is on fire.
Café Central, Herrengasse 14 (1st district, Innere Stadt)