Vienna, World War II and living with Nazi relics like the Flak towers.
Latest hand-picked WWII news.
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1913: When Hitler, Trotsky, Tito, Freud and Stalin all lived in one section of Vienna
In January 1913, a man whose passport had the name Stavros Papadopoulos disembarked from the Krakow train at Vienna`s North Terminal station. "I was sitting at the table," wrote the man he had come to meet, "when the door opened with a knock and an unknown man entered. The writer of these lines was a dissident Russian intellectual, the editor of a radical newspaper Pravda (Truth). His name was Leon Trotsky. The man he described was not, in fact, Papadopoulos. He had been born Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, was known to his friends as Koba and is now remembered as Joseph Stalin. Trotsky and Stalin were just two of a number of men who lived in central Vienna in 1913 and whose lives were destined to mould, indeed to shatter, much of the 20th century.
Plans for Austria`s huge Nazi-era flak towers spark controversy
Scattered through Vienna are 6 huge anti-aircraft towers, a reminder of the city`s Nazi past. The flak towers, built by forced labour, were set up 1942-1945. Architectural historian Ute Bauer says their main purpose was propaganda: "The towers were... a sign of the military strength of the Third Reich... In 1943 when the towers were built, the authorities already knew the bombers flew higher - so they were of no military use, but they built them regardless." One of the flak towers houses an aquarium and another is used by the Austrian army. But what to do with the other relics - getting rid of the reinforced concrete is difficult.
Drive-by-wire radio controlled Borgward IV German WW2 tank discovered in Vienna
Builders discovered a German World War II tank on a new train station in the Austrian capital Vienna. The German Borgward IV was one of the first drive-by-wire radio controlled weapons, which delivered a 1,000 lbs bomb blast by remote control. Explosives experts evacuated the building site while they searched the relic for live charges. Station officials have given the military vehicle to the city`s Military History Museum.
Hitler`s paintings from Vienna (dated 1910, 1911) under the hammer in Germany
A German auction house will auction off 3 watercolors by Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. The works, showing cottages, mills and churches nestled in rural landscapes will go under the hammer on Sept 5 in Weidler`s auction house in Nuremberg. The 3 paintings are dated from 1910 and 1911 and originate from Vienna where Hitler lived several years as a struggling artist. One of the paintings, "White church in the Wachau", was authenticated in 1963 by Peter Jahn, an expert on Hitler`s early paintings, who ranked it as among Hitler`s best works. Hitler created an estimated 723 pictures, including sketches and paintings. [The three paintings were sold for 42,000 euros]
Patrolling in Vienna after world war 2
After the second world war came to an end in 1945, Robert Farley and his crew of American military policemen (the 505 military police battalion) entered Vienna to resume order. He was part of the 4-nation patrol (one soldier from UK, France, Russia and the US rode jeeps around the city to maintain peace). Once " a Russian soldier took a liking to my date. He motioned for me to give my date over to him but I refused. Then he pulled out a pistol and waved it at me, but my answer was still `Nyet.` Luckily, he walked away with a disgusted look on his face."
A group campaigns to reopen long abandoned Vienna`s Nazi flak towers
Everyone in Vienna knows about the Flaktürme, flak towers, the huge gun emplacements built 1942-1945 by decree of Adolf Hitler to repel Allied air raids. All 6 of these concrete titans survive at the heart of a baroque city. Yet the flak towers do not exist in "official" Vienna - other than a brief mention in guidebooks. Angered by the denial over the towers, a group of architectural historians wants that the truth about the monsters (one of the biggest groups of concrete structures in Europe) is told. Designed by Fried rich Tamms, who designed much of the Nazi Germany`s autobahn system, Hitler had planned them to be clad in marble after the victory of the Reich.
1911 painting of Vienna’s Votivkirche by Adolf Hitler sells for $40,000
In an auction by Manion’s Auction House an original 1911 dated watercolor of Vienna’s Votivkirche, by German dictator Adolf Hitler, fetched the sum of $40,000.00. "I’ve seen a few of his paintings over the years and they always amaze me. It’s just one of those aspects of WWII history that you hear about, but almost don’t really believe it could be true," said John Conway. While Manion has sold other original Hitler paintings in the past, this is the highest price they had seen one reach. The company is presently featuring another work by Hitler, a pen and ink watercolor, "Shelter in Fournes", referenced in "Adolf Hitler the Unknown Artist" by Billy E. Price.