We’ve been getting great feedback from our readers. Thanks very much for your thoughts, ideas and insights.
To the editor,
Thank you for the interesting and informative magazine about this great city. I was pleased to read the article on our Grätzl, the Freihausviertel. I am surprised though that there is no mention of the United Nations (and the Vienna International Centre), especially since the cover subtitle reads “The Story Behind International Vienna.”
Since the UN established its second European headquarters in Vienna, the city’s renown has grown exponentially, making it one of the busiest conference cities in the world. Perhaps a future edition can remedy this omission.
Dear Mr. Attia,
The UN is an integral part of Vienna’s interantional community. The cover referred to the feature by Dardis McNamee called “The Many-Peopled Land” (Oct, p 10), which highlights the history of Vienna as a city of immigration, including the establishment of the UN. Austria has a long history, so the most recent past is only a small, though important part of the story. Activities of the UN will continue to feature in our pages.
To the Editor,
According to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, the number of refugees and internally displaced people has reached its highest point since World War II. Worldwide about 60 million people are fleeing their homes. The most awakening fact is that half of them are children.
It’s so important that such organizations as Train of Hope, beside supporting refugees, raise awareness. It’s simple math: our European population of 742 million can and must show compassion and find solutions.
The Train of Hope is a great story! Thank you for such a personal insight.
Dear Ms. Soutormina,
Thank you for sharing this information. The staggering numbers are abstract without the stories from volunteers to humanize this crisis. Our intention is to provide context about regional current events for our readers. Please keep your comments coming.
To the Editor,
I’ve been hearing a lot lately of how immigrants harm Austria. I hear they take jobs from native-born Austrians, that they don’t learn the language, that they fail to assimilate and that they don’t understand the culture. And that these concerns are fueling the right-wing populists here.
Not too long ago I was sitting on the bus watching an Austrian man berate a fellow passenger, whom he seemed to believe was a Turkish immigrant. The Austrian seemed very upset about all the harm this foreigner was doing to the job market; to the ease of communication; and to the culture and values that are common to all Austrians. I’ve seen public rants like this more than once in Vienna.
I just have one question: Why am I spared the anger of right-wing populists? How come I’ve never gotten a solid “talking to”? I have a well-paid job here. I’ve been here nearly two years, yet my spoken German is still god-awful. The social norms are completely foreign to me: Everything – from work-life balance, to proper etiquette on public transport, to greeting people – is entirely different from my home in America.
Every single criticism the Austrian man on the bus had of the (presumed) Turkish man is true of me. I say “presumed” because he never actually asked the fellow’s nationality: that he had brown skin seemed proof enough of his immigrant status. I, myself, am of far lighter complexion — but I’m sure that’s of no consequence. He was concerned about all that other stuff, you see.
Dear Mr. Karl,
You’re certainly not alone it your experience.
Vienna has not been as ethnically diverse as it is today, and some of our readers have observed the change over the last 20 years, but there is still a ways to go. With the new influx of refugees and migrants, this topic will become more important. As an editorial team we are glad that people like you speak up about the injustices you see. So thanks very much for your thoughts.
Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance.
Karl Popper, The Open Society and it’s Enemies Vol. 1