Relationships/Beziehungsgeschichten. Austria and the United States in the Twentieth Century - Günter Bischof - ebook

Relationships/Beziehungsgeschichten. Austria and the United States in the Twentieth Century ebook

Günter Bischof



After the breakup of the Habsburg Monarchy, the Austrian-American relationship was characterized by a dwarf confronting a giant. America continued to be a heaven for a better life for many Austrian emigrants. For the growing American preponderant position in the world after World War I, the small Austrian Republic was insignificant. And yet there were times when Austria mattered geopolitically. During the post-World War II occupation of Austria, the U.S. helped reconstruct Austria economically and was the biggest champion of its independence. During the Cold War, the U.S. frequently used Austria as a mediator site of summit meetings. American mass production models, consumerism, and popular culture were adopted by Austrian youth. Americanization and American preponderance also produced anti-Americanism. With the end of the Cold War and Austria's accession to the European Union it once again lost significance for Washington's geopolitics.

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Günter Bischof



TRANSATLANTICAGünter Bischof, Editor

Volume 4: Günter BischofRelationships/Beziehungsgeschichten

Günter Bischof


Austria and the United Statesin den Twentieth Century

© 2014 by Studienverlag Ges.m.b.H., Erlerstraße 10, A-6020 Innsbruck

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All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced and electronically processed, duplicated or distributed without the written approval of Studienverlag Ges.m.b.H.

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This publication is supported by the University of New Orleans, Amt der Vorarlberger Landesregierung, Abt. IIb – Wissenschaft und Weiterbildung and Kulturabteilung der Stadt Wien, Wissenschafts- und Forschungsförderung.

ISBN 978-3-7065-5727-6

Corporate design by Kurt Höretzeder

Layout: Studienverlag/Roland Kubanda

Cover: Studienverlag/Karin Berner

Photo: Pfc. Myron Kanner and his Austrian girlfriend stop to admire one of the statues in Stadt Park on an afternoon stroll. 9/9/45. Photo: SC-216619, Vienna Albums, Still Picture Branch, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, MD

Index by Judeh Maher

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Dedicated to my childrenAndrea JuliaMarcus ChristopherAlexander Carroll

Table of Contents

Preface by Thomas A. Schwartz



Longue Durée, Anschluss and World War II


Two Sides of the Coin:


The Americanization of Austria and Austrian Anti-Americanism


Austria’s Loss—America’s Gain:


Finis Austriae—The “Anschluss” and the Expulsion/Migration of Jewish Austrians to the U.S.


Lives behind Barbed Wire:


Austrian Prisoners of War during and after World War II in American Captivity


Cold War


The Marshall Plan and Austria


American Public Opinion about Austria during the Early Years of the Cold War


Cold War Miracle: The Austrian State Treaty at 50


Post-Cold War


Of Dwarfs and Giants. From Cold War Mediator to Bad Boy of Europe—Austria and the U.S. in the Transatlantic Arena (1990–2013)


“Experiencing a Nasty Fall from Grace…”? Austria’s Image in the U.S. after the Formation of the New ÖVP/FPÖ Government


Empire Discourses: The “American Empire” in Decline?


California Dreaming:


Arnold the Quintessential American Immigrant


Picture Credits


Reprinted from the Following Publications

“Two Sides of the Coin: The Americanization of Austria and Austrian Anti-Americanism.” in: Alexander Stephan, ed., The Americanization of Europe: Culture, Diplomacy, and Anti-Americanism after 1945. New York-Oxford: Berghahn, 2006, pp. 147–181

“Austria’s Loss – America’s Gain: Finis Austriae – The ‘Anschluss’ and the Expulsion/Migration of Jewish Austrians to the U.S.” in: Peter Eigner/Herbert Matis/Andreas Resch, eds., Entrepreneurship in schwierigen Zeiten: Unternehmertum, Karrieren und gewaltsame Diskontinuitäten von Lebensläufen während der ersten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts. Beiträge gesammelt zu Ehren von Peter Berger (Veröffentlichungen der Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Unternehmensgeschichte, vol. 30). Vienna: LIT, 2013, pp. 229–257

(shortened version of original publications with Barbara Stelzl-Marx), “Lives behind Barbed Wire: A Comparative View of Austrian Prisoners of War during and after World War II in Soviet and American and Captivity.” in: Günter Bischof/Fritz Plasser/Eva Malschnigg, eds., Austrian Lives in: Contemporary Austrian Studies (Contemporary Austrian Studies 21). New Orleans/Innsbruck: UNO Press/innsbruck university press, 2012, pp. 327–358

“Der Marshall-Plan in Österreich/The Marshall Plan in Austria.” in: Österreich Baut Auf/Rebuilding Austria, Vienna: Technical Museum, 2005, pp. 12–66

“Where May Meets Lazarsfeld: American Public Opinion toward Austria in the Early Cold War.” in: Akira Iriye, ed., Rethinking International Relations: Ernest R. May and the Study of World Affairs. Chicago: Imprint Publications, 1998, pp. 309–319

“Cold War Miracle: The Austrian State Treaty of 1955 and Its 50th Anniversary in 2005.” in: Arnold Suppan, ed., Auflösung historischer Konflikte im Donauraum: Festschrift für Ferenz Glatz zum 70. Geburtstag. Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 2011, pp. 385–396

“Of Dwarfs and Giants: From Cold War Mediator to Bad Boy of Europe – Austria and the U.S. in the Transatlantic Arena (1990–2013).” In: Günter Bischof/Ferdinand Karlhofer, eds., Austria’s International Position after the End of the Cold War (Contemporary Austrian Studies 22). New Orleans/Innsbruck: UNO Press/innsbruck university press, 2013, pp.13–51

“ ‘Experiencing a Nasty Fall From Grace …’? Austria’s Image in the U.S. after the Formation of the New ÖVP/FPÖ Government,” in: Austria’s Image in the United States” (Diplomatische Akademie Wien Occasional Paper 2/2000), pp. 7–33

“Empire Discourses: The ‘American Empire’ in Decline?,” in: Kurswechsel No. 2 (2009): pp. 14–23

(originally published with Philipp Strobl), “California Dreaming: Arnold the Quintessential American Immigrant,” in: Michael Butter/Patrick Keller/Simon Wendt, eds., Arnold Schwarzenegger – Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Body and Image (American Studies – A Monograph Series, vol. 198) (Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2011), pp. 237–262

Thomas A. Schwartz

Günter Bischof:

Historian, Analyst and Critic of the U.S.–Austrian Relationship

The essays in this volume chronicle the history of a relationship which is not widely known or understood by most Americans, including many who study international affairs and consider themselves otherwise well-informed in the history of U.S. foreign relations. As these writings make clear, the relationship between the United States and Austria has a multitude of fascinating dimensions, and it offers important lessons in understanding the contours of 20th century international history, the role of the United States in Europe, and the significance of immigration and emigration in American and European history. Yet the Austrian-American relationship resides in the long shadow of the torturous, bloody, and yet more intimate, relationship between the United States and Germany. It is almost as if the U.S.–German relationship has sucked all the oxygen out of the scholarly and popular environment, preventing Americans from fully considering their ties to other European countries in the vicinity of the Teutonic giant. Indeed, about a decade ago the German Historical Institute sponsored a two-volume, more than a thousand page scholarly “Handbuch” dealing with the all aspects of the relationship between the United States and Germany during the Cold War. This project involved more than a hundred authors on both sides of the Atlantic. As one of those contributors, and as a historian who has written on the U.S.–German alliance, I can testify as to how it has tended to dominate the scholarly discourse on America’s relations with the German-speaking world. This may also be another reason that many Austrian historians have tended to ignore and neglect the important role of the United States in their recent history.

Against this scholarly tendency on both sides of the Atlantic stands the prolific and profound work of Günter Bischof. I have had the privilege of knowing Günter for more than thirty years, having met him in graduate school. We became friends quickly, sharing both advisers and many academic interests. Over the years I have admired, and at times marveled at, Bischof’s extraordinary productivity and scholarly energy, watching him sponsoring conferences, editing volumes, training students, and stimulating research through his writings. In many respects Bischof seemed to me to fuse aspects of our two Harvard academic advisers. In the fashion of Charles Maier, the famous historian of modern Europe, Bischof’s preferred form of expression was the essay rather than monograph, allowing him to address a multitude of diverse subjects. Like Ernest May, one of the leading historians of American diplomatic history, Bischof was also an extraordinary academic entrepreneur, with a remarkable ability to collaborate with other scholars, organize international academic conferences, and elevate his university’s public profile. I was honored when he asked me to contribute this introduction to his collection of essays relating to the United States–Austrian relationship, some of which were published before in less prominent venues, like the time-honored German Festschrift, and will through this volume become more easily accessible to readers.

These essays take us on a remarkable journey through American and Austrian history in the 20th and even early 21st century. They are tied together by an interest in both how the two countries as nation states have dealt with each other, but also how Americans and Austrians have related to, interacted with, and thought about each other. The first section of this volume is particularly striking in its historical sensibility and understanding. In “Two Sides of the Coin,” Bischof explores both the concept of the Americanization of Austria, a process he himself has lived, as well as the existence of anti-Americanism in Austria, something which he experienced in the aftermath of the Iraq invasion of 2003. Although the upsurge of this sentiment after 2003 was noteworthy, Bischof recognizes that anti-Americanism in Austria has a much longer history, reaching back to the beginning of the 20th century. “Finis Austriae” movingly depicts the impact of the Anschluss—the disappearance of Austria as a country—and the harsh persecution of Austrian Jews, seen through the eyes of the American Ministers to Austria during this period. Bischof makes a powerful case for the degree to which Austria suffered an extraordinary human loss from its descent into Nazism, highlighting those Austrian Jews like the scholar Paul Lazarsfeld, who were forced to flee the vicious anti-Semitism unleashed after the Anschluss. That men like Lazarsfeld, representing the immigrant experience, would have such a profound impact on American life is an underlying theme of other essays as well, one which concerned our doctoral adviser, Ernest May, and the influence of an Austrian intellectual upon his work. This human dimension to the relationship between the two countries comes through as well in the third essay which discusses the experience of an Austrian POW in the United States. That this particular prisoner of war was Bischof’s father is an especially poignant aspect detail, but his narrative of the experience offers, in its revealing “microhistory,” a sense of the complex emotions with which Austrians of that wartime generation came to perceive the United States.

The second part of this volume brings together some of Bischof’s essays on Austria during the Cold War, a topic about which he has written extensively and definitively. In his book Austria in the First Cold War, Bischof’s reminded American diplomatic historians of the importance of understanding conditions and cultures “on the ground,” in the specific country being acted upon by American policy. He also used the phrase “the leverage of the weak” to show the significant impact smaller countries like Austria can have on international affairs. If there is any lesson that Americans need to learn and re-learn in their understanding foreign policy, it is that even the most enlightened and well-intentioned policy is subject to change and mutation when it comes into contact with the people and nation that it seeks to influence. Bischof makes this point crystal clear in his extraordinary multiarchival research and assessment of U.S. and Austrian relations during the Cold War, and his essay on the impact of the Marshall Plan is a classic in this regard. His exploration of American public opinion toward Austria in the early Cold War further enriches our understanding of this complex era. Austria’s “neutrality” during the Cold War affords historians an unusual but unfortunately largely neglected perspective from which to study the conflict. Bischof’s treatment of the Austrian State treaty, one of the first real signs that détente was possible between the United States and the Soviet Union, is particularly significant for this reason.

In the last part of this volume Bischof’s role as the preeminent public intellectual and commentator on the U.S.–Austrian relationship comes to the forefront. In his essays dealing with the U.S. relationship with Austria since the end of the Cold War and the problems which Austria’s public image faced from such personalities as Jörg Haider and Kurt Waldheim, Bischof uses his historian’s sensibility to provide perspective on more recent events. These reflections on Austria’s image in the United States also remind me of another aspect of his scholarly career that is only alluded to in this volume. Bischof has been forthright and outspoken in his insistence, through his writings and lectures, on the necessity for Austrians of confronting the Nazi past. At the 2003 German Studies Association conference in New Orleans, he gave an impassioned lecture on the subject, one of the most balanced and yet hard-hitting assessments of Austria’s involvement in the Nazi era and the need to come to terms with it. This is not a popular subject in Austria, but it has had an impact on the U.S.–Austrian relationship which, Bischof’s work makes clear, should not be overlooked.

The final two essays turn the tables a bit, with Bischof focused more on the American side of the relationship. In “American empire discourses” he examines the historical discussion concerning American empire and sharply criticizes the turn in American foreign policy which came after the September 11th attacks. Finally, in the last essay in the volume, he turns his attention to the “Quiet Invader,” Arnold Schwarzenegger, probably the most famous Austrian immigrant of recent times. His treatment of Schwarzenegger’s rather creative “autobiography,” allows Bischof to muse about some aspects of contemporary American celebrity culture as well as the continuing appeal of the “American dream” in myth and reality. Although Schwarzenegger’s political star faded rapidly, it is worth recalling that some Republican lawmakers wanted to change the Constitution to allow the famous bodybuilder to run for President. Bischof’s essay demonstrates that the United States may have once again dodged a bullet.

At the beginning of this essay I referred to the project which I was involved with that dealt with the United States and Germany during the Cold War, and which required hundreds of scholars to participate in order to detail the myriad interactions between those two countries. I would respectfully argue that Günter Bischof has accomplished the same thing for the United States and Austria in this single volume! This book will stand as a fitting tribute and remarkable testament to the scholarly range and extraordinary talent as a historian and public intellectual which Günter Bischof represents.

Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee

September 2013


The essays in this volume were published as book chapters and articles in various publications—some of them in rather obscure and hard-to-locate venues—over the past 15 years. They all deal with aspects of Austrian-American relations and cover a wide range of topics associated with this bilateral relationship—political, economic, cultural, and personal. “Foreign relations,” a concept that comprises diplomatic and international history scholarship, come in many guises these days. The 175th anniversary of official diplomatic relations between the Habsburg Monarchy and the United States, established in 1838, is another good reason to publish this book in 2013.1

The German word “Beziehungsgeschichten” has a wider meaning than the English term “relationships” as applied to individuals and nations. It means the “history” of the U.S.–Austrian relationship but also individual life stories like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s or my father’s as a prisoner of war in the U.S. after World War II that make up the larger relationship. This is why I used it as the book’s title. Relations between nations can be stable like a successful marriage, as the Austrian–American relationship was for most of the Cold-War period; they can be stormy as they were during the Vietnam War and George W. Bush’s Iraq War; they can end in divorce as they did during World War I, when Austria (the dual monarchy), was an enemy of the U.S., and World War II, when the Austrian republic was annexed by Nazi Germany; they can end up abusive and violent as they did when the U.S. bombed and leveled cities in the “Danube and Alpine Gaue” of Nazi Germany and when Austrians lynched downed allied airmen or when both Nazi Germany and America held tens of thousands of enemy POWs in their camps.

“Foreign relations” between nations exist on many individual and state levels. Year after year, tens of thousands of tourists make brief visits and accumulate swift impressions, many of them stereotypical; thousands of foreign exchange students and hundreds of Fulbright scholars and research fellows spend a semester or more in a foreign country and bring home lively impressions from their study visits, some of them profound (as I am exploring in the “Americanization” chapter of this book). Yet these impressions often constitute the “mental maps” people draw about foreign places, maps that define their life-long perceptions.2 These diverse impressions make up the perceptions and cognitive frameworks nations form of each other. Professional diplomats, who stay in a country for years, have more political acumen and cultural empathy, and they bring professional tools to assess the nations they are assigned to with great skill and insight.3 Their reports (many of which are quoted in these pages) are a crucial element of official foreign relations. Foreign correspondents bring many of the tools of professional observers too, yet in today’s fast-moving media, particularly in sound-bite-driven television journalism, their reports are often shallow.4 Politicians visiting for a few hours or days may be the most superficial observers. Even though they are usually well briefed by their staff, they are generally no experts on a country and gather quick impressions. (The visits of Presidents Kennedy and Carter during their 1961 and 1979 summit meetings in Vienna5 may serve as an example; Schüssel’s visit in Washington in October 2001 and Bush’s visit in Vienna in June 2006 are mentioned in the chapter “Of Dwarfs and Giants”).6 Businessmen and investors usually engage in long-term projects and develop deep insights into the economic and political climate of foreign nations in which they operate.

Long-term migration movements between states are part of “foreign relations.”7 Austrian immigrants to the United States (and American immigrants to Austria) form an important element in this bilateral relationship. More traditional scholarship maintains that Austrian immigrants are “quiet invaders” who quickly assimilate into American life.8 The Schwarzenegger chapter in this book confirms this thesis.9 Yet more recent Austrian immigrant biographies suggest that such a smooth assimilation is not always the case.10 Austrian immigrant chefs have been particularly successful in the United States in past years. Wolfgang Puck and Kurt Gutenbrunner have had a long-term impact on American palates and culinary history. Such intimate individual relationships constitute an important part of American–Austrian relations yet are rarely analyzed by scholars. Taken together, these unofficial and official contacts between nations constitute the larger bilateral relationship. The chapters in this volume probe these various levels of foreign relations between Austria and the United States.

Diplomatic history scholarship in the United States is no longer “marking time” as a prominent critic of the field claimed some thirty years ago.11 During the past twenty–five years, historians of diplomatic and international history have learned to utilize many different methodologies and approaches developed by the historical sciences. Diplomatic and international history in the United States has become a vibrant academic field. American historians of the “holy trinity” of race, gender and class have infused the field lately, but so have the scholars of culture, memory, and human rights.12 Many of these types of “foreign relations” are discussed in the chapters of this volume, including traditional diplomatic and political bilateral ties between Austria and the United States, public diplomacy, mutual perceptions, national security, cultural relations (such as Americanization and anti-Americanism), intellectual discourses, and immigration.

The study of diplomatic history is not fashionable these days in Austrian historical scholarship, which shows little interest in the history and politics of the United States. The discipline of American Studies was popular at Austrian universities in the era of American ascendancy after World War II. Yet these Amerikanistik departments concentrated on literature studies in the past and focus on trendy film and cultural studies today. They have shown little interest in studying American history and even less in investigating America’s hegemonic power in the world. Instead, programs dedicated to global and world history have become the rage in Austrian history departments. Signal Austrian contributions to American history writing, such as Gerald Stourzh’s monographs on Benjamin Franklin and Alexander Hamilton13 and Reinhold Wagnleitner’s famous “Americanization” book, are rare.14 Austrian historians have failed to register German historian Erich Angermann’s invocation to study American history as a laboratory for understanding the European colonization of the world and the migratory movements of European settlers, not to speak of the many ethnic and cultural interactions in American society.15 Austrian–American bilateral relations are under-represented on both sides of the Atlantic as is the study of American history in Austria; however, the study of Austria is practiced vigorously by a small community of dedicated scholars in the United States.16

Austrian–American relationships are part of transatlantic and—to use a fashionable term—transnational history. The agenda of transatlantic history, namely the flow of ideas, investments, commodities and people, is another focus of this book. Mary Nolan argues that America’s mid-twentieth century hegemony rests on five pillars: 1) America’s economic prowess and mass production techniques (Fordism, Taylorism), technological innovation, high productivity and mass consumption; 2) America’s military might (conventional and nuclear) and strong European and global military presence; 3) the anti-communist and Keynesian Cold War domestic consensus on both sides of the Atlantic; 4) Western European sympathy for American political values and popular culture; 5) Western European willingness to be a junior partner in the American “empire by invitation.”17 The relationship between Austria and America is a constituent part of the transatlantic relationship; the essays in this book cover all of these concepts in one way or another.

Each of the chapters in this collection has an explanatory introductory paragraph that contextualizes when and for what purpose these essays were originally written. These introductory paragraphs also give the reader a sense of a working scholar’s academic life. When not spending time in the classroom and with students or visiting archives researching the next book, we are forever responding to colleagues’ and friends’ requests to contribute to the collections, special issues of journals or exhibition catalogues they are editing—or we are invited to give papers at conferences, which are eventually published. Much of a scholar’s time is dedicated to responding to such requests of colleagues, and then asking for similar favors in return. In a sense, these essays also testify to my inability to say “NO” to such requests. It goes without saying that very little of this work gets financial compensation; its rewards consist in honing one’s professional skills and building networks and collegial friendships.

In the past few years, I have found myself contributing numerous essays to Festschriften dedicated to friends and colleagues on the occasion of milestone birthdays, requests that I suppose come with age. In the German-speaking academic world, it is still customary to present a Festschrift to deserving colleagues, especially on their retirement; the custom is less prevalent in Anglo–American universities. Unfortunately, Festschriften are read by few people outside the circle of contributors, and, of course, the colleagues so honored. As a result, the scholarship presented in these publications quickly slips into obscurity. Three chapters in this volume are such Festschriften-essays to honor friends and colleagues (“Finis Austriae”; American Public Opinion; and Austrian State Treaty). By re-publishing them, I hope to rescue these essays from obscurity and, hopefully, to re-introduce them to scholarly discourse.

The following chapters have been arranged in three sections, reflecting my principal research interests in the World War II and Cold War eras (pre-Cold War, Cold War, and post-Cold War). Chapter 1 on Austrian views (often negative) of the United States reaches back into the 19th century; it also covers the intense phases of the social, cultural, and economic “Americanization” of Austria after World Wars I and II, maybe the most intense Austrian engagement with all things American. Chapters 2 deals with the “Anschluss” of 1938 and American diplomats observing the ugly persecution of the Jews by the Austrian Nazis—World War II constituting the low point of the bilateral relationship. Chapter 3 deals with the American treatment of Austrian POWs during and after World War II in general and with my own father’s experience in a Colorado POW camp in particular. Chapter 4 begins the Cold War section and summarizes the major role the Marshall Plan played in ripping postwar Austria out of the clutches of economic dislocation, poverty and famine and putting it on a path to prosperity. This may be the high point of U.S.–Austrian relations. Chapter 5 is a case study of shrewd Austrian diplomats dealing with the problems of Austria’s ambiguous World War II past and the selling of the official doctrine of “Hitler’s first victim Austria” to American media and public opinion leaders. Chapter 6 provides a brief summary of the complex diplomacy of the making of the Austrian State Treaty and ending the four-power occupation regime. The final section covers the post-Cold War world. Chapter 7 is a first attempt to define a scholarly research agenda for the study of the past twenty years of Austrian–American relations. How did the relationship change after the Cold War, when Austria’s coveted Cold War neutral status was buffeted by the new winds of blocks dissolving and the neighborhood changing? Chapter 8 deals with another case study of public diplomacy, namely Austria’s difficult international position after the formation of the Schüssel coalition government with the right-wing Freedom Party in January 2000 and international diplomatic pushback against it. Chapter 9 is an introduction into the fascinating discourses of whether the U.S. hegemonic position after the end of the Cold War constitutes a form of empire and, if yes, whether the American empire is in decline today? Chapter 10 is devoted to Arnold Schwarzenegger, Austria’s most famous immigrant to the United States. It looks at Schwarzenegger’s life story and tries to deconstruct and demystify the biographic myths that the “governator” has been proffering to launch his political career.

Inevitably, I also find my personal life and my long interaction and engagement with the United States reflected in this book. My scholarly life was greatly shaped by personal intellectual relationships and the intense mentoring that American universities are justly famous for. After finishing high school in Bregenz in Western Austria, I first came to the U.S. as an “American Field Service” foreign exchange student at San Ramon Valley High School in Danville, California, in 1972. This was only four years after Arnold Schwarzenegger began his journey as an immigrant to California and entered a very different trajectory from my own towards the “American dream”. My fascination with the Schwarzenegger story probably stems from my own California experience. The Vietnam War was winding down then and Nixon was reelected; I found myself deeply immersed in American politics as I campaigned for George McGovern, going door to door in Walnut Creek. In the summer of 1976, I returned and travelled coast-to-coast on Greyhound buses with a friend. Majoring in history and English/American Studies at the University of Innsbruck, I received a scholarship from the University of New Orleans History Department to study American history. At UNO, I found two great mentors in Joseph Logsdon and Stephen Ambrose. They encouraged me to enroll in a PhD program at an American university. Miraculously, the Harvard History Department accepted me in 1982. I studied the next seven years in Cambridge, Massachusetts. As two of the chapters in this book suggest, Ernest May’s and Charles Maier’s mentoring and enormous intellectual influence helped me mature as a scholar of American and international history and of the U.S. position in the world in general, and of particular areas such as Marshall Plan studies. In 1989, I returned to UNO to begin my life as an academic, teaching both American and European/Austrian history to American students. UNO has been my academic home ever since.

Like many of those who have come to the United States from Austria, I have spent the last thirty years of my life “wandering” between my old and new “Heimat.” I am drawn equally to both Austria and the United States. I have lived in and studied both countries deeply for most of my life; in a sense, I feel the pulls of divided loyalties. Unlike Schwarzenegger, I have not become an American citizen (yet) and have never displayed open gestures of American patriotism. Neither am I given to displays of Austrian patriotism. In fact, I am appalled by the nativist and xenophobic currents I see in both countries today. Maybe being skeptical of any form of jingoism and retreating into stateless global citizenship is the current condition of an intellectual in today’s world. During all these years, I have been visiting my family, friends and colleagues in Austria regularly and have worked hard at maintaining collegial ties and friendships. I have regularly attended conferences, given lectures and taught block seminars at Austrian universities. Colleagues have invited me to give papers and contribute chapters on American (and Austrian) history to conferences, journals and books, maybe because there are so few Austrian historians of the U.S. and even fewer of the Austro–American relationship. I have frequently contributed articles and op-eds to Austrian newspapers and magazines, and I have tried to shape the public discourses about America. As the director of CenterAustria at UNO, I play a similar role in local, regional and national American discourses about Austria. I have briefed American ambassadors to Austria before their Senate Foreign Relations hearings for final appointment. I believe that this personal background determines the way I choose research fields, ask questions, and frame answers.

Finally, being married to an American and raising a family in the U.S. have become the most intimate part of my personal relationship with America. My wonderful wife Melanie Boulet is a Louisiana Cajun, and we raised our three kids—Andrea Julia, Marcus Christopher, and Alexander Carroll—on the bayou. They have grown up in the challenging ecological environment of the Louisiana marshes, fishing, crabbing, hunting, and annually anticipating hurricanes and evacuating for “Katrina” and “Gustav.” They, too, also have visited Austria regularly and have struggled with learning German. My “Austro-Cajun” kids have dual citizenship and share my dual identity. They are equally comfortable in both cultures and are all taking German as a second major or a minor in college. Melanie, who served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay, has embraced our transcultural lifestyle as well. Clearly, my long-term interest in both Austria and the United States has been greatly favored by these happy personal circumstances and my wonderful relationship with the extensive Boulet clan of Larose, Louisiana. This book is dedicated to my three kids, who have patiently put up with their Papi’s working “upstairs” in his office, immersed in his scholarly pursuits.

As is the case with every book project, “it takes a village” to finish it, and I am deeply indebted to my family and to numerous friends and colleagues. I want to thank colleagues who have helped with thoughtful suggestions and materials for these essays. A few friends and colleagues stand out as having consistently engaged me over many years in my research on both sides of the Atlantic. My mentors in the U.S. include Joseph Logsdon, Stephen Ambrose, Ernest May and Charles Maier. My friend from graduate school and cherished colleague Thomas Schwartz has been a quasi-mentor over the years; once again, he was generous with his time and wrote a preface for this volume. My history chairs at UNO have been wonderful supporters and strong sponsors of my career (even during long stretches of scarcity in UNO budgets): Gerald Bodet, Arnold Hirsch, Warren Billings, Ida Altman, Madelon Powers and now Andrew Goss. Gordon “Nick” Mueller has served as a mentor and friend ever since I came to UNO 1979. Robert “Bobby” Dupont, when he served as Dean of Metropolitan College, tirelessly supported my ambitions with the Eisenhower Center and CenterAustria; he is now a trusted friend and a colleague in the History Department.

In Austria, three generations of dear friends and colleagues have inspired and supported my work: Gerald Stourzh, Herbert Mathis, Dieter Stiefel, Peter Berger, Josef Leidenfrost, Oliver Rathkolb, Annemarie Steidl in Vienna; the late Fritz Fellner, Reinhold Wagnleitner, and Ingrid Bauer in Salzburg; Franz Mathis, Rolf Steininger, Thomas Albrich, Klaus Eisterer, Michael Gehler, Ingrid Böhler in Innsbruck; Siegfried Beer and the incomparable team of Stefan Karner, Barbara Stelzl-Marx, Peter Ruggenthaler, and Harald Knoll at the Boltzmann Institut für Kriegs-Folgenforschung in Graz. More recently, CenterAustria has been blessed with a very talented group of Austrian junior visiting fellows, with all of whom I have collaborated on research and publication projects: Josef Köstlbauer, Michael Maier, Marion Wieser, Philipp Strobl, Alexander Smith, Manfred Kohler, Eva Maltschnig, and Dominik Hoffman-Wellenhof.

Since the founding of CenterAustria in 1997, Gertraud Griessner has been a dedicated office manager and has enabled me to complete writing projects even during times of heavy demands from many sides. Besides contributing enormously to the success of CenterAustria, she has kept the worries of daily office operations away from my desk, which has allowed me to complete this book as well. Inge Fink of the UNO English Department, a great friend who has been at the university for almost as long as I, copy-edited these essays with her impeccable English skills; her sharp sense of humor has made it fun to finish this project. During the completion of the manuscript, Katrin Lisa Voggenberger helped with many chores such as scanning pictures and solving Microsoft Word problems. Berthold Molden has been a constant interlocutor as a visiting Marshall Plan Chair at UNO. Center Austria and its research and publication agenda have been kept alive by the support of the University of New Orleans and the University of Innsbruck and their respective chancellors, presidents, deans, and Rektors. Above all, four institutions contributed to CenterAustria’s success with their financial support: in Austria, the Austrian Foreign (now European and International Affairs) and Science Ministries, as well as the Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation; in the U.S., the Bostiber Foundation of Media, Pennsylvania, which has supported the “Quiet Invaders” research with a generous grant. Josef Leidenfrost, Emil Brix, Ernst Aichinger, Martin Eichtinger, Barbara Weitgruber, Christoph Ramoser, and Eugen Stark in Vienna, and Terry Kline in Media have brokered this financial support. Anton Fink, Ferdinand Lacina and now Wolfgang Petritsch have been mainstays at the Marshall Plan Foundation in engineering the support of UNO’s Center Austria. My Austrian family, especially Burkhard Bischof during my many visits to Vienna, have provided nurturing for my intellectual pursuits.

Last but not least, it has been a pleasure to work with the top-notch professional staff of the Studienverlag in Innsbruck. The TRANSATLANTICA series was initiated by Martin Kofler, the publishing house’s founding editor of contemporary history and former student of mine, and by Markus Hatzer, its director. I signed the contract for the “Beziehungsgeschichten” too many years ago to remember. The Studienverlag has been very patient with my procrastination and gentle in its reminders that I owed them a manuscript. Throughout the many changes in selecting different essays for the collection, Ruth Mayr and Andreas Staggl have been my principal contacts and have shepherded this volume to completion. I owe the entire team at the Studienverlag a deep debt of gratitude for handling this volume and the entire TRANSATLANTICA series with such expert care. I am grateful to the previous publishers of the chapters revised for this book for their ready permission to republish them (listed in the “List of Publications”). I would also like to thank the institutions credited in the list of “Picture Credits” for helping me get high resolution scans and for granting me permission to publish the pictures in this volume. Hans Petschar, Michaela Pfunder and Mathias Böhm of the Austrian National Library Picture Archives and Graphics Department have been particularly helpful in granting my requests, as have Christian Benda from the picture archives of Die Presse, Maria Steiner at the Bruno Kreisky Archives in Vienna, Charles E. Greene of Princeton University Libraries, and Pauline Testerman and Janice Davis of the Harry S. Truman Library-Archives. The index was generously compiled by my graduate student Judeh Maher. As always, despite such generous and overwhelming support from colleagues and friends, I accept sole responsibility for any errors contained in the following pages.

1See the handsome documentation by the U.S. Embassy in Vienna, 175 Years: U.S.–Austrian Diplomatic Relations, Vienna 2013.

2On the concept of life-long “mental maps” policy makers form early in life, see Alan K. Henrickson, The Geographical “Mental Maps” of American Foreign Policy Makers, in: International Political Science Review 1 (1980): 495–530.

3Paul Gordon Lauren/Gordon A. Craig/Alexander L. George, Force and Statecraft: Diplomatic Challenges of Our Time 4th ed., New York 2006.

4Ernest R. May, The News Media and Diplomacy, repr. in: Akria Iriye, ed., International Relations: Ernest R May and the Study of World Affairs, Chicago 1998, 145–177.

5Günter Bischof/Martin Kofler, “Vienna, a City that is Symbolic of the Possibility of Finding Equitable Solutions”: John F. Kennedy and the Vienna Summit, in: Günter Bischof/Stefan Karner/Barbara Stelzl-Marx, eds., The Vienna Summit of 1961, Lanham, MD 2013, 83–124.

6For an archetypical case study of the domestic context of such a political visit for image building, see Günter Bischof, Besuchsdiplomatie und Koalitionsreibereien im Kalten Krieg: Der GorbachBesuch bei Kennedy im Mai 1961, in: Mitteilungen des Österreichisches Staatsarchivs (Festschrift für Lorenz Mikoletzky) 55 (2011): 1253–1276.

7Donna Gabaccia has explored this field in a fascinating book, see Foreign Relations: American Immigration in Global Perspective, Princeton 2012.

8E. Wilder Spaulding, The Quiet Invaders: The Story of the Austrian Impact Upon America, Vienna 1968.

9As does the example of Joseph Buttinger, see Philip Strobl, Thinking Cosmopolitan or How Joseph Became Joe Buttinger, in: Günter Bischof/Fritz Plasser/Eva Maltschnig, eds., Austrian Lives (Contemporary Austrian Studies=CAS 21), New Orleans-Innsbruck 2012, 92–122.

10Dominik Hoffman-Wellenhof, Autobiographische Darstellungen von Indentitätskrisen im Exil: Frederic Mortons und Ruth Klügers Suche nach Brücken in einer neuen Heimat, PhD Diss University of Graz 2013.

11Charles S. Maier, Marking Time: The Historiography of International Relations, in: Michael Kammen, ed., The Past Before Us: Contemporary Historical Writing in the United States, Ithaca 1980.

12For an introductory primer of this new international history, see Michal J. Hogan/Thomas G. Paterson, eds., Explaining the History of American Foreign Relations 2nd ed., Cambridge 2004.

13Gerald Stourzh, Benjamin Franklin and American Foreign Policy, Chicago 1954, 2nd ed. 1969; idem, Alexander Hamilton and the Idea of Republican Government, Stanford 1970.

14Reinhold Wagnleitner, Coca-Colonisation und Kalter Krieg: Die Kulturmission der USA in Österreich nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg, Vienna 1991; English ed. Coca-Colonization and the Cold War: The Cultural Mission of the United States in Austria after the Second World War, trans. Diana M. Wolf, Chapel Hill 1994.

15Erich Angermann, Was heißt und zu welchem Ende studiert man anglo-amerikanische Geschichte? Eine akademische Abschiedsrede, in: Historische Zeitschrift 256 (January 1993): 637–659. I have raised these issues in a badly received talk given at the University of Vienna in 2007, Was heißt und zu welchem Ende studiert man amerikanische Zeitgeschichte (unpublished lecture).

16Gary Cohen, Austrian Studies in the United States, in: Günter Bischof/Fritz Plasser/Anton Pelinka/Alexander Smith, eds., Global Austria: Austria’s Place in Europe and the World (Contemporary Austrian Studies=CAS 20), 266–273.

17Mary Nolan, The Transatlantic Century: Europe and America, 1890–2010, Cambridge 2012, 3; see also Jussi Hanhimäki/Benedikt Schoenborn/Barbara Zanchetta, Transatlantic Relations Since 1945: An Introduction, London 2012.

I. Longue Durée, Anschluss and World War II

This essay was commissioned by the late Alexander Stephan for a comparative volume of levels of Americanization and anti-Americanism in various European countries (published by Berghahn in 2006). The papers for this volume were first delivered in a very productive conference at the Rothermere American Institute at the University of Oxford in the fall of 2003. Versions of this paper were also delivered at the German Studies Association annual meeting in 2003 and the Austrian Association for American Studies annual meeting in 2002. Anti-Americanism was a prominent topic in Europe after the invasion of Iraq by the Bush administration in March 2003 and experienced a significant upswing during the months this essay was written. The newspapers in Austria and elsewhere in Europe were full of it and raw forms of anti-Americanism were part of everyday fare in conversations during visits to Austria and Europe. The Americanization of Austria was something I personally experienced when growing up in the country. Reinhold Wagnleitner, a friend and colleague at the University of Salzburg, had pioneered a famous study of the “coca-colonization” of Austria during the occupation decade after World War II. During extensive study visits to the U.S. I had become fascinated with America and became a lifelong student of the country. I stress the visitors programs as an important aspect of Americanization in this essay because of those personal experiences This essay documents cultural relations and Austrian perceptions and prejudices of Americans—the persistence of fixed images nations carry on in their relationships.

Two Sides of the Coin:

The Americanization of Austria and Austrian Anti-Americanism1

“Yet all this said, it remains true that for the major thinkers who have made America an object of sustained attention and reflection, few have viewed American in a positive light.”2


It is a given among those who study the projection and presence of America in the world that ever since its discovery, America has appeared in European projections as both paradise and a barbarian outpost. The corresponding European views of America as fact and as fiction, utopia and dystopia, of and , have always been intimately related. “Thousands have joined in the European game of deploring, baiting, or praising America over the last two centuries,” noted C. Van Woodward in his authoritative essay , yet in the end they tended “to influence and repeat each other” and “perpetuate stereotypes.” The people of Austria have not been different in this regard—Americanization is the twin brother of anti-Americanism there also; too much of one inevitably leads to the other.

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