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To the editor,

(In response to “Death in Vienna”, MET November, 2016)
My wife and I had read the November 2016 magazine and subsequently subscribed to Metropole as we liked the content and variety.

Dardis McNamee’s “Death in Vienna” prompted us to take a long walk this past
Sunday through a large part of the Zentralfriedhof. When we had visited there several years ago we had not walked through the Old Jewish Cemetery, but on this visit we did and were dismayed by its current condition.

We wondered if during McNamee’s research she discovered why this portion of the cemetery was left in such terrible condition – we know that Kristallnacht led to much of the original damage.
Although we are not Jewish and know that many descendants of families that would have been buried there met their demise during the Holocaust, we can’t understand why Vienna, which so prides itself on a clean and well-maintained city, would allow this portion of the Zentralfriedhof to become such a run-down area.

We suspect funding by the families largely ceased to exist after 1938 and has led to the slow demise of this section but wondered why Vienna had not taken on the task of attempting to restore this section to a reasonable state.

Chris Richter, per e-mail

To the editor,

(In response to “Heritage Short Changed”, MET July/August, 2017) It’s difficult to
understand exactly what is happening with this redevelopment. It does look like they are tearing down or completely changing the look of the Intercontinental Hotel. That’s a shame because that property could really be a treasure of 60s architecture and design if handled correctly.

The “new” version is very typical looking and offers very little that is visually interesting, although I do appreciate the removal of that hideous streetscape at the ice skating rink and, as noted, opening up the other side of the Konzerthaus. But it’s still a bit of a dead zone from a citizen’s perspective. I’m usually a pretty good researcher, but it’s disturbing how little real information I can find on this development. Does the development offer any affordable housing or is this just another €6,000/m2 and up deal that is likely to be bought up by non-residents?

Finally, I’ve always wondered, what’s the big deal about the Innere Stadt being a UNESCO World Heritage site? I’m not against it or anything, but I really don’t understand what that means on a practical level. And why can there be tall buildings on the canal side that don’t threaten this status, but not on the Ring side?

scottythebody, website comment

To the editor,

(In response to the Facebook post “Discovering Vienna Second-Hand with Willhaben” July 21, 2017) That’s also how I roll! Agree on/have experienced almost everything you’ve written. Complementary idea: When there’s an item you like at IKEA, search for its name on Willhaben, and you might get yourself a much cheaper or even a free and already assembled, most of the time almost as good as new (sometimes even unused) version of it, luckily even next door from you! Added bonus: Making friends on the way. It happens.

İstem Özen, Facebook comment

“To the depths of the Unknown to find something new!”

Charles Baudelaire, French poet (1821-1867), Le Voyage in Les Fleurs du Mal (1857)