Overcast conditions are no hindrance to skiers and snowboarders, as they pour out of the Alpspitzbahn cable car mountain station (Bergstation) at elevation 2050 metres. The Alpspitzbahn cable car is part of the “Garmisch Classic” services including Kreuzeckbahn and Hochalmbahn. Visible from the AlpspiX platform are the towns of Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Grainau in the Loisach river valley below, Wank summit to the northeast, and the mighty Zugspitze to the southwest.
I made the image above on 26 Feb 2017 with a Canon EOS6D mark1 and these settings: 1/500-sec, f/16, ISO1000, and 35mm focal length. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-o1C.
Above/featured: Memorial statue in Vienna’s Heiligenstadt Park; more details below.
Composer Ludwig van Beethoven spent a total of 35 years in Vienna, from 1792 with his arrival from Bonn until his death in 1827. Every summer, he would leave Vienna to stay in a country- or farm-house in Heiligenstadt which at the time was rural; a stagecoach trip from the inner city required several hours. Today, urban development and expansion have reached and overtaken the once verdant fields right up to the flanks of the city’s northern heights.
By 1802, Beethoven’s hearing loss was almost complete. With his doctor’s recommendation, Beethoven had hoped time away from the noisy city would help recover some of his healing, but after the summer had passed, his initial fears had come true: his hearing would not return. In desperation, Beethoven wrote to his brother a letter, known as the “Heiligenstadt Testament“. He never sent the letter to his brother; the letter would only be discovered 25 years later with Beethoven’s personal effects, shortly after his death in 1827.
I’m tracing out some of Beethoven’s footsteps in Heiligenstadt wrapped inside the present-day city’s 19th district of Döbling. All locations can be visited comfortably on foot in a single day. The following description is part of a larger overview of my search for Beethoven in the Austrian capital city.
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Thanks to the European Schengen agreement, visitors to the the Zugspitze summit can easily traverse between the German and Austrian sides without border checks. Last time, I provided the view from the German side. This time with this west-facing view from the Austrian side, visitors can hop on the Tiroler Zugspitzbahn cable car down into Tirol (pylon and cable car station at right). At the very left edge of the frame are radio antennae for Telekom Austria’s reserve relay station, behind which is the massive wedge of rock called the Zugspitzeck (Zugspitz corner) overlooking the towns of Ehrwald and Lermoos.
I made the image on 25 Feb 2017 with a Canon EOS6D mark1 and these settings: 1/800-sec, f/16, ISO500, and 24mm focal length. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-o1q.
Above/featured: A captive audience surrounds the Gustav Klimt painting “The Kiss” in Vienna’s Upper Belvedere. Photo, 19 May 2018 (X70).
If you’re paying attention, traces of the turn-of-the-century Viennese Art Nouveau (Wiener Jugendstil) art and design movement are visible throughout the Austrian capital city.
A building mural.
A staircase, with railings and light fixtures.
The front facade of an apartment block.
The entrance pavilion to the municipal railway.
A decorative structure marking the exit/end of a river’s diverted route underneath the city.
I provide ten visual examples below, all of which are accessible with public transport.
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Above/featured: Shoah Namensmauern Gedenkstätte (Holocaust Wall of Names memorial site).
I drag my fingers gently down each stone block, across the fine indentations and the print of countless names.
I give quiet voice to names of people I see.
In Vienna’s 9th district is a small green space, Ostarrichi Park, in front of the Österreichische Nationalbank (Austrian National Bank). The park is home to the Shoah Namensmauern Gedenkstätte (Holocaust Wall of Names Memorial), dedicated to over 64-thousand Austrian Jews murdered during the Nazi regime. Public inauguration of the memorial occurred on 9 November 2021 on the 83rd anniversary of the Pogromnacht. The establishment and realization of the memorial has been a lifelong project for Vienna-born Kurt Yakov Tutter, who with his family fled to Belgium in 1930. He made a new home in Toronto, Canada, where in 2000 he began working to create a memorial to murdered Austrian Jews. The historical significance of the memorial means the City of Vienna and the Austria National Fund are jointly responsible for maintenance of the memorial.
The names of over 64-thousand children, women, and men are engraved onto 160 slabs of granite; the slabs are arranged in an oval ring. Within the open and uncovered space, visitors to the memorial can walk briskly past each vertical block, but the air is thick with names.
Selma ABZUG, geboren/born 1886
Ernst ADLER, geb./b. 1904
David ALBRECHT, geb./b. 1871
Grete ALTMANN, geb./b. 1928
Therese WEISZ, geb./b. 1867
Eva WELLISCH, geb./b. 1933
Alfred WERTHEIM, geb./b. 1920
Edmund WESTFRIED, geb./b. 1890
… We must be listened to: above and beyond our personal experience, we have collectively witnessed a fundamental unexpected event, fundamental precisely because unexpected, not foreseen by anyone. It happened; therefore it can happen again: this is the core of what we have to say.
— Primo Levi: Italian chemist, Holocaust survivor, and author.
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“Well into the 1970s, the area around present-day Leon Zelman Park was the site of the Aspang Railway Station, which was built in 1880–1881 as a terminal for the regional Vienna-Aspang-Pitten rail line. Despite its relatively central location in the city’s 3rd district, the station served only regional rail traffic and was not very busy. These were likely reasons why after the “Anschluss” the Nazis chose this station for deportation transports.
Two transport trains departed in October 1939 with 1584 Jewish men deported to Nisko in the Lublin District of the General Governorate of occupied Poland as a failed attempt to create the Lublin reservation for expelled European Jews. Much larger deportations resumed from February 1941 to October 1942. 45451 Austrian-Jewish men and women were deported on a total of 45 transport trains to ghettos and extermination sites in (what are now) Czechia, Poland, Belarus, Lithuania, and Latvia.
In Vienna, the cynically-named Nazi ‘Zentralstelle für jüdische Auswanderung’ (Central Agency for Jewish Emigration) organized deportation efforts including forced captivity and assembly or collection points. Four internment stations were established in the city’s 2nd district where prisoners were abused and stripped of their possessions. For every transport, about one thousand people were driven to Aspang Station in uncovered trucks, in plain and open sight of the city’s population.
Of the 47035 Jewish men and women deported from Aspang Railway Station, only 1073 (2%) survived, according to the research by Austrian historian Jonny Moser, himself a survivor of the Holocaust/Shoah. In total, more than 65-thousand Austrian Jews fell victim; most of them began their road to their deaths at Aspang Station.”
• Paraphrased from Kunst im öffentlichen Raum Wien (Art in public spaces Vienna).
After the war and Allied-occupation period, little was done to improve the station and its tracks. The station was closed in 1971 and the station building was demolished by 1977. The turn of the millennium provided momentum to both city and the national rail company for redevelopment of the area, including apartment blocks, green space, and a memorial. Today, the former railway station is Leon Zelman Park, named after Dr. Leon Zelman who established in 1980 the Jewish Welcome Service Vienna and led the organization until his passing in 2007. The inauguration of the deportation memorial occurred on 7 September 2017 with full opening to the public on the following day.
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Above/featured: Vienna skyline from Kleinwasserkraftwerk Wehr I in early morning light. Photo, 7 Jun 2022.
For 2022, the act of looking forward and backward is dominated by a 4-week stay in the city of Vienna. In between the collected images is a reclaimed longing for the Austrian capital to which I was first introduced 20 years ago, but for which there was no camera and, sadly, no recorded pixels.
I’ve already described a set of images setting the urban scenes in Vienna from 2022. Below is an additional set of 22 images selected from a period of 35 days; the time interval represents only 10% of the year, but it appears to be a personally important “watershed moment” as well.
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