60 Years Ago Today

Wednesday, 6 August 1952:

We must say goodbye to Vienna today. I was up early packing and it was such a job that I was running late today even before I got turned around. With our bags downstairs, LO, Alene, and I caught the trolley downtown instead of waiting for the bus. We had a few schillings to squander and were eager to shop.

In fact, I had 160 schillings or so to spend. We got off near the opera and inquired our way to the Modern Art Gallery. The man wanted us to take another trolley, but it was only a couple blocks so we declined. We stopped in the shops on the way down the street. I found a black elastic belt to buy for 40 schillings. The Modern Art Gallery called the Sezession, was small and contained a few interesting pictures, but many others which I thought were messes or not appealing at all.

At 9:45 a.m. we headed back to the Natural History Museum to join the rest of the group. I picked up a picture book of Wien on the way for 21.60 schillings. I had to check my camera at the door, because I didn’t dunk it soon enough. We really made a flying trip through the museum. The tour started out with the birds, butterflies, snakes, lizards, big animals and back around to the monkeys. It was frustrating to have so little time to spend here. We rushed through the rocks, meteors and precious stones section. We whizzed back to the bus just in time to leave Vienna. That museum is kind of blurred in my mind, but I guess you can say I was inside.

We crossed the Russian Zone again today, but no one checked us going out of Vienna. When we reached the bridge before Linz, a Russian came on the bus to check our grey cards. He looked about 16 years old and seemed quite friendly, but one can never tell with these Russians. We’ve heard lots of different unnerving stories about them. On the other side of the river we talked to the Russian guards and got a drink of water out of a big can in the shack.

I took pictures of the bridge and I caught sight of a Russian soldier standing on the bridge. The guards informed me that he wasn’t supposed to be there. Both U.S. and Russians soldiers weren’t supposed to cross over the bridge. A couple of soldiers had crossed over and had been held overnight once. Two kids of our group went over the bridge and stayed but came dragging back about six minutes late.

In Linz, Austria we had a little time to spend while we waited for Hermine. We arrived early, so we had a lunch stop. The cafe inside was off limits to us and the other cafe was too expensive. So we bought some fruit and cakes and I spent my last schillings, my last small change anyway. I still have $4 worth or 100 schillings that I anticipate cashing at the border.

Vienna People Saddened That City Has Been So Rudely Dismembered

(Editor’s Note: This is another in a series of letters written by Mrs. Afton A. Hansen, who is touring Europe with a group of students.)

Dear Friends;
With the melodies of Vienna Woods and Blue Danube in our hearts, we came to beautiful old Vienna, the capital city of Austria, in the heart of Europe. The trees of the woods grow and the Danube waters flow endlessly on, but the new songs are different than when Strauss gave to the world the song of the stream and the melody of the leaves. Today the Angels Are on Holiday in Vienna is a new song.

The Viennese love their city and are saddened that it is so rudely dismembered. The Blue Danube serves as a shining knife in a open hand, with Russian force on the opposite bank.

In riding through the city, we are told which part is the British zone, the French zone, the Russian zone and the American zone as well as the International zone. We see large buildings; some are in ruins and some are impressive and beautiful. The Austrian House of Parliament must be the most beautiful in the world. We see shops full of tempting wares (much exquisite petit point) and wide streets and squares crowded with people among who are a few of the very poor of this world.

Russian Zone
Into the Russian zone we ride and see the streets almost deserted of people, the shop doors closed and very few advertisements. We are not allowed to use our cameras here. We feel as sad as this street looks.

There are parts of the city in the Russian zone which do not look so formidable. The Pater, an amusement park, with its large Ferris wheel, a roller coaster and many other unique surprises and interests. Another spot of interest is the Russian bulletin board in front of the Kommandtura (Government office building) which was previously the city’s Board of Education building. News of the day in words and pictures give the story of germ warfare in Korea, pictures of Industrial workers and school children. There were books written by Lenin, Stallin, Marx, Engels, as well as a few novels—one entitled The Way to Love. On the front of the building is the Russian flag and a huge red star.

Some of our girls did attempt to speak to a couple of the Russian soldiers but with little success. Stories are told of the sad fate of soldiers who talk to Americans.

We have wondered about this when so many of them are walking about the streets of Vienna and elsewhere. Stories of Russian cruelty are persistent. It is said that all along the border there is a three mile strip which has been cleared of inhabitants. Anyone seen moving in these streets or through the trees is shot. No lacy curtain here. I do have the name and address of a fine lady from the east zone whose family is gone and who is anxious to come to Utah to work if someone will sponsor her.

Happy Meeting
A happy experience came to me the day I stood not far from the Red Star. A taxi drove up with a very fine looking lady and gentleman in the back seat. The lady spoke to me in German and I answered in German saying “I understand you not.” The taxi driver said, “Speak to her in American,” whereupon we both laughed heartily.

Getting out of the car she said;
“Where in America are you from?”
“From Utah,” I relpied.
“From Utah?” She added with greater interest. “Where in Utah?”
“From Provo,” I said expectantly.
“From Provo,” she said, her voice increasing in its rich fullness. “The President of our University is from Provo.”
“Well,” said I, with crescendo in my voice, “Are you from California?”
“No,” she beamed, “I’m from Montclair, N.J., and De Partridge is our president.”
“Well, well,” said I — and there were two beams. “I used to try to wash that man’s face when he was a young rascal in the Partridge home.”

We were good friends from then on and I enjoyed a nice chat with Prof. and Mrs. Frederic H. Young. Dr. Young is lecturing in Europe and has written a book on The Philosophy of Henry James Sr., which sound intensely interesting and for which Mrs. Young designed the cover.

Almost anyone will say that you haven’t seen Vienna until you taste the flavour of Vienna chicken salad and pastry. Seated at small tables in Kurtsalon patio, we listened to the enchanting melodies of Pier Gyat Suit and watched the clouds and shadows slowly cross the golden moon in eclipse. It was a delicate taste of a grand old city.

Part of Vienna’s enchantment is her past, and we meet her dead heroes again and again in our walks. Vienna was and is the musicians’ holy city — where they lived and many of them are buried. In public squares and park, we see statues of Schubert, Strauss, Hadyn, Beethoven, Brahms, Gluck, Liszt, Mahler, Schuman, Wagner and Bruckner.

Woman Ruler
Statues and monuments remind us of their rulers, one of which was Empress Maria Theresa, who lived 1740-1780. It seemed such a short time for her to have accomplished so much. She was a highly capable woman, who built up and unified the Hapsburg Empire, directed battles and made treaties, skillfully played in European politics and blithely produced sixteen sons and daughters in her spare time and made judicious marriages for them.

In Schonbrum Schloss (palace) Maria Theresa is everywhere to be seen. In the gilded council chambers; in the ball room where she liked to dance and play cards with her favorite generals; in the music room where her children took their music lessons and where Mozart gave his first concert. She is enthroned in the blue ceiling frescoes and painted with her family around her. In this palace are 149 rooms with 139 kitchens.

The House of Hapsburg ruled in Austria from 1218 to 1918 during which time much of the cultural development was accomplished. The University of Vienna was founded in 1365.

The entire Hapsburg family of which there are only two living, are buried in a crypt in Vienna, an impressive building, cared for by the Cauchin Monks. Their coffins are adorned with elaborate statues in marble and bronze — a fitting memorial to the illustrious family who were responsible for the development of the country for more than 700 years.

Much indeed could be said about the palaces and castles in Austria. Rulers in these European countries seemed to vie with each other in buildings of wealth, magnificence and splendor, which today was a source of pleasure and amazement as well as of great educational value. We can be sure that what the Austrians did accomplish was done with cheerful hearts.

Afton A. Hansen

A few miles farther was the border from Austria back into Germany. It was 10-15 kilometers before Passau. With no cash on hand there was a big delay. Ummm! We arrived at our hotel about dinner time and ran into another group of Americans. After talking we had a delicious dinner and later went for a walk.

On our jaunt we ran into the other group of Americans and found out they were going into Vienna the next day. So I took the opportunity to sell my 100 schillings for 4 dollars. We started to walk down past the snack bar. Then the rain drove us back to the hotel. My room was cute with an adjoining bath. So my roomies and I set up a bathing business. We got a key and by the time we all got a bath the fee had been quite nominal.


60 Years Ago Today

Monday, 4 August 1952:

In the morning we ate breakfast next door at a café which was off limits to all military and civilian personnel. The bus tour started around 9 a.m. and we were off to Vienna where the population was around two million. We drove past former barracks that were now the Austrian police headquarters. Then we observed the famous Ringstrassse, a circular road surrounding part of Vienna where a wall ran around the inner city.

Our tour continued past the stock exchange, the biggest private Votive Church by Vidal, and the University of Vienna. A monument of the German composer, Beethoven, was across the street from the University of Vienna. Soon after was the house of Franz and Ferdinand Schubert, two more prominent Austrian composers. The town seemed to have a lot of Gothic architecture everywhere we looked. We proceeded by the folk garden, House of Parliament, monument to the three founders of Austrian Republic, Russian military command, Natural History Museum, Art History Museum, and a monument of Empress Theresa, sovereign ruler of Austria. The guide pointed out the Burgdorway entrance to Herse Square and Palace where Hitler had spoken once.

Then we continued on with the Academy of Fine Arts where there was a big sign that said “America Go Home.” At the Karlsplatz square there was a statue of another German composer, Brahams. We learned that Franz Schubert lived here in Vienna in 1820. We passed by Stalin Square where the offices of the Allied Commission were located. As we passed a Russian motor pool, I waved at a soldier and he just glared back at me. Gee! And the Austrian people have to put up with this all the time.

We ventured over to a Vienna concert house, Kursaal Palace, where there was another monument of Beethoven which stated “You can or you can’t”. Next was the city park where there was a monument of the “Waltz King” who was better known as Johann Strauss. Next we passed the University of Arts and Crafts that displayed a Minerva mosaic and oddly included a war office. I observed a monument to a soldier with the rank of Field Marshall. Soon after that was the Palace Urania, a public educational institute and observatory in Vienna.

Then we crossed the Danube Canal which used to be part of the Danube river. This second district of Vienna was included in the Russian zone. We drove past the house where Johann Straus lived and composed Blue Danube Waltz. The house was old and beaten up. Then I spied a great big Ferris wheel that had been constructed in 1893. It was used in the film Third Man and was 264 feet tall.

As we continued on we saw a carnival and railway which had a famous route, one that zigzaged past the chilling canyon of the Devil’s Nose. War damage was still apparent everywhere, but the Russian’s restoration had little building going on from what I could see.

The tour continued past the Red Russian Monument, St. Francis of Assisi Church, suspension bridge over the Danube, and Vienna woods which made a half circle all around the city. I snapped a picture of the sign “America Go Home.” We went across the canal just before going back to the restaurant, Liebe Augustine, in the first international sector of Vienna. In an important business district there was a monument to Johannes Gutenberg recognizing his contribution of the moveable type printing press and the printing of the Gutenberg Bible.

As the day wore on we proceeded past St. Stephen’s Cathedral, new Market Square, and provincial monument where Habsburg, ruler of Austria, was buried. At the Imperial Crypt there was an embalmed body in each sarcophagi. A new part of the Imperial Crypt had buried the Habsburg Loraine family.

Buried there were Joseph I and wife (oldest sarcophaga), Archduke Maxmillian, Emperor Joseph II with a simple copper coffin and his two wives, Emperor Charles VI, his wife Empress Christine, father of Maria Theresa, Empress Maria Theresa, and her husband. Maria Theresa and her husband’s coffin weighed 23 tons and was quite ornate. It was ordered 20 years before their deaths with carvings that represented events in their life. Their statues were on top with smaller statues around them representing their children. Maria had sixteen children and one of her daughters was Marie Antoinette. Her children were all buried there except for Marie Antoinette, who was buried in France, and Maria Christine, who was buried in another church with her husband. Included in the sarcophaga was a friend of Maria’s who was not of the royal family. Maria had promised she could be buried there.

Also, buried there were Emperor Francis I, Empress Francis Josephine’s parents, Emperor Ferdinand I, Emperor Maximilian of Mexico, and wife of Napoleon I. Napoleon’s sons had been transported to Rome under Hitler’s order and finally were put to rest in Les Invalides, Paris. There was a silver sarcophagi that contained the Spanish side line of Habsburg family: Francis Joseph, his wife, and Empress Elizabeth who was assassinated at age 60, were buried there as well. There was a room reserved for the last branch of the family of Emperor Charles and a monument to Archduke Alberto. As we finished I bought a book for six schillings. They were also selling holy water from Lourdes where Saint Bernadette was supposed to have had a vision.

The tour proceeded to the winter Imperial Habsburg residence, St. Peter’s Church, and St. Augustine Church, where the Habsburg family had had their weddings. Next was a Black Plague Memorial or Column of Holy Trinity and then we circled back to the St. Stephens Cathedral. Then we caught sight of the Vienna State Opera House which was finished in 1869. I noticed a building across the street that was in complete ruins with only ruble left. While we drove past the Academy of Fine Arts there was a monument to Leon Schiller, who was a composer, writer, and director with the Academy of Fine Arts. And there was a monument to Johann Goethe, a German writer, on the other side of the building.

Later there was an Artists Museum and Mariahilfstrasse that was one of the most important and longest streets in Vienna. I could see the American zone on the right and the French zone on the left. I spied another monument of Joseph Haydn, an Austrian composer, in front of the Mariahilfr Church. At West Bahnhof there was a new building where the old one stood. In the 15th district of Vienna the French zone was located. As we passed the Technical Museum for Industrial Trade construction workers were repairing the streets.

Our next adventure included a tour at the Schönbrunn Palace. It was a former imperial 1400 room Rococo summer residence in Vienna, Austria. Inside the park we had a guide to tell us the details of the Palace. And there was a Neptune fountain that people could walk all around, an Egyptian Obelisk, and a private park that was located on one side for the Empress.

Once we got inside the palace I observed a billiard hall with a mahogany table and a private audience room. It had original walnut furniture, inlaid floors, and a Tyrolean sculptured gilded wood chandelier. A domed writing room had beautiful white Rococo architecture decorated with a kind of porcelain. Portraits adorned the walls of Emperor Francis Joseph, his wife, Marie Antoinette, Maria Carolina, queen of Italy, daughter of Maria Theresa, and children of Ludwig II. One silk cover wall had handwriting on it.

We ventured into the bedroom of Emperor Francis Joseph, who had had the longest reign in Europe. The room was quite simple compared to Ludwig II’s room. The combined bedrooms were in blue brocade and next was a sitting room of the empress in Viennese Rococo style. In that room I noticed a Bohemian crystal chandelier, portrait of Emperor Francis, and Chinese porcelain that Maria Theresa had collected. Boy! The floors were squeaky.

The next room was the Rosa room which had landscapes on the canvas paintings by the Austrian painter Joseph Rosa. Also, there was a Chinese round closet with double doors on each side which was used as a sound proof secret council room. A table came up through the floor for the secret sessions. Then we observed an oval Chinese closet and blue salon. The Million room came next with inlaid rosewood from 13 a.d., Persian miniatures from 2 a.d., and one petit point needlework done by Maria Theresa herself. There were chairs that represented the different seasons of the year, and portraits of a wedding and Spanish writing school. Next on the tour was a big gallery and Hall of Mirrors. Overall we went through 45 rooms.

After the palace we drove into the British zone and Vienna 12th District. There was a Mozart Café decorated with a Third Man theme. Our group lost the mob and found lunch at a little cafe on our own. Then we browsed through a book store and were back to the bus by 2 p.m. We saw a staircase leading to the upper highway into the 9th district.

Then off to the 19th district with the Heilioperstadt Francis Joseph Railway Station. One of the biggest apartment houses was built by the municipality of Vienna that included a school and everything else needed inside the apartment houses. There were more new apartment buildings and a quaint church erected in 10 a.d. Soon after was a house where Beethoven composed Pastorale movement in 1817. There was a courtyard inside with grapevines making an arbor. A wine brewery was here indicated by a green bush on a stick in front of the house.

The tour continued over to Gruinszig, a wine growing village. The main road led up to the Vienna woods with vineyards covering the hills. At Kohlenbergstrassse there was a sun bathing place and swimming pool. People were picnicking in the Vienna woods with oak, beech, and elm trees. The last mountain of Vienna Woods was next to the Danube river and then the Belvedere Castle. It was cloudy and I probably have rotten pictures of these sights. The kids were taking pictures by the Russian zone sign.

The city of Vienna was founded approximately 100 years after Christ by the Romans. Present population of Vienna was two million. Next was an elevated railway that entered the 9th district of Vienna, Franz Schubert’s birthplace and the location of a new museum.

On the way back to the hotel, we got out downtown to look for a leather case. After no luck we went back to the hotel. I had a yearning to go to Wein Pratau for a special evening. So I paid 17 schillings for a bath where I washed my hair. Then we messed around and got dressed up. I wore Alene’s clothes and went visiting in our costumes for some fun.

60 Years Ago Today

Saturday, 2 August 1952:

Another delicious breakfast with whipped cream in our chocolate. We gathered up the crew and went into Salzburg. It was a free period for shopping and foraging for lunches. Most of group left for some quiet spot in the mountains about 11a.m., Wolfgang Lake near St. Gilgen.

I decided to stay. My first task was to find a place to get the shoulder strap on my carry all bag fixed. I also wanted to see the inside of the Festival House whether or not I get to see the opera. I found a shopping market in College Church Square that was typical Austrian picturesque.
We ate lunch at the Winkler Café in Monschberg, an Austrian independent municipality. The views of Salzburg were spectacular and I took several pictures.

Then I was off to the Festival House. I saw a theatrical set of the Magic Flute, Mozart’s opera. Afterwards, I met K.K. and Carmela trying to get tickets for the opera. In my attempt, I met an American who graciously helped me do some further sightseeing in Salzburg. We ventured to the monastery, puppets, and Mirabel Gardens.

Again I met Carmela, Kay, and Kay at EES Snack Bar trying to find food. They had bought tickets to Marriage of Figaro on the black market and gave us a clue about getting some too. I went back to the Opera House to buy tickets. Success! I bought tickets for two dollars from a lady who had bought better seats.

I had one hour to go to get to the castle. I made a quick trip and was back at the opera at 7 p.m. just as Margaret Truman, the only child of President Truman, and her bodyguards were making a grand entrance. I followed with my Librettos program and tried to get her to autograph it at intermission. Unfortunately, a plainclothes man interceded.

After I met up with the rest of the gang at the bus. They had skipped the opera and been up to the big castle on the hill to see some native dancing. Those darling people at the Drachenloch Hotel had dinner waiting for us.

Students Attend World-Famous Music Festival at Salzburg

(Editor’s note: This is another in a series of letters from Mrs. Afton Hansen of Provo on her impressions of a trip through Europe she is making with a group of Utah college students.)

Dear Friends,
Salzburg in Austria has found itself in the genius of the past. From all over the world come music lovers to be at the Summer Music Festival, or Zutgust, during the month of August. Here in Mozart’s home town, in the harmony of music, we listen to a universal language.

Tickets being apparently unavailable did not stop Carmela, Kay and Kathleen for scouting for some. They were well paid for their efforts—and that evening they saw The Marriage of Figaro, along with Margaret Truman, Anna Roseberg, and others. It was a sweet sample and of course they wanted to stay in Salzburg for another day. The main group was scheduled to give a program in Vienna, so the bus load went on leaving the three girls and Afton in Salzburg with cautions, scares, and warning of—”Remember what happened to Voegler.” You see we had to pass through Russian territory, and Russian soldiers had to examine our passports and grey cards.

After saying good-bye to the group we went to the U.S.Service Club to read the play we expected to see—Everyman. At near 11 a.m. we went to the Festispielhaus to hear the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Clemens Krauss. What a glorious Sunday experience. When the music was about to begin I looked at my watch to see how punctual they were and discovered that my watch had stopped. Of course I started winding it, but the lady next to me motioned, no! no! So almost breathlessly, yet earnestly and eagerly, we listened for two-short hours to compositions of Hayden, Maurice Bavel and Ludwig Von Beethoven.

Today with an age of idealism and romanticism behind us we listen for new spiritual values ever present in the music of genius; and to the self-supporting, independent harmonics in thought and emotion stimulated by tone color.

The elegant simplicity, in gold and white, of the buildings interior, was an appropriate setting along with a capacity crowd of better dressed people.

In the lobby on our way out, five other people gravitated to our group, making nine in all. Two were soldiers, a Frenchman who was an architect student, a young Jewess concert pianist, and a blond young chap who was a Jewish soloist — all delightful company. We had two meals together that day, (one was in the famous Peterskeller) as well as the pleasure of the concert, a play and a tramp in the rain under half enough rain coats.

At 7 o’clock, the play Yederman was the main attraction, but standing in line one hour for tickets was a different kind of experience. The evening was rather warm and sultry, and the line was long. Soon we could see the black market dealers at their common and expected, though secret, game. Tickets and money were changing hands. I discovered that sometimes it pays to look weary—for a nice man came and offered me a ticket, saying that he didn’t like to see me standing in line so long. You see there are very fine people in Austria too.

The comfortable wooden benches to sit on afforded plenty of sitting and knee room.
Yederman (Everyman) on the open air stage, was clothed in a rich costume of gold, rust and black and had a voice deep resonant and clear. Behind him was the 250 year old Cathedral, with statues of St. Peter and St. Paul near the entrance. From the balconies above, to left and to right, came the voices of couriers, costumed to represent statues. The vice of the devil from below was effective, and the voice of God coming from the high church steeple sounded indeed as if it were coming from heaven. Costumes, voices and staging were all effective to the story with a theme of repentance. Toward the end of the play, thunder and rain hastened our exit, and we found shelter in another cathedral filled with singing worshipers.

At 9 o’clock we were nothing but lucky to get tickets to the Hayden concert—with choir, orchestra and soloists participating. This eventful Sunday ended with “good-byes” to our new found friends, and the exchange of addresses, after which “the four ‘Y’ers” took the midnight train for Vienna.
This ride was also interesting with new personalities—soldiers and local people. Sitting next to us in those hard wooden seats was a young couple going to their home in Vienna. Both had Ph.D. degrees. She is teaching German and English, and he is a lawyer to the state department. A most pleasant and enlightening conversation ensued until it was time for passport inspection about 3 a.m. by the Russians.

Those Russian soldiers were young looking chaps with plenty of room to grow into their uniforms—perhaps plenty of time too. After a few winks of sleep now and then, kinked necks, we arrived at Vienna, at 6 a.m. almost ready to see the grand old city.

Afton Hansen

60 Years Ago Today

Friday, 1 August 1952:

At 7 a.m. in the morning it was cold and I had a sparse spit bath. After a good night of rest that was had by all, we had the most delicious continental breakfast of scrambled eggs and chocolate. It was the best breakfast I can remember on this trip.

Everyone was eager to see Salzburg and get going for the day. A group of us strolled down to the other hotel to find the bus. On the way I caught sight of the trains. Next thing I knew we were off to Salzburg in the bus.

The first part of Salzburg we sighted was a huge castle on a hill. It was a landmark from the surrounding country around it. And I spotted a military palace and some cobblestone streets that seemed older than Innsbruck. We drove closer to get a look at the castle. Along the way a red brick church was being rebuilt and a big sign asking for help. Then we circled around looking for an American Express across a bridge over the Salzach River which runs through the middle of Salzburg.

In Salzburg there were lots of Army personnel and equipment in evidence all around the city and a beautiful footbridge across the river. We discovered a statue of Mozart in the city square where we actually found the American Express.

There was a big plaza just below the castle with a huge fountain in the middle of the adjoining square. Water was spurting out of the horses mouth and nose. It was five minutes until opening time and servicemen were waiting in front of the building to go in, so we joined the crowd.

American Express resided in a structure that used to be an old café Glockenspiel. As I waited I observed a beautiful mural in front of the building on the adjoining street and old buildings intermingled with new buildings. There were no apparent bombed out buildings from World War II in evidence as of yet. All of us caused a traffic jam in the mail department which spread to all the other departments nearby. I received one letter from Twila, my old standby.

Now we went out in search of the post office. We found the military post office, but we were not supposed to use it. Everyone seemed willing to let us though. However, a man gave us a scare about the script and informed us, “that there was a five year sentence if you’re caught with it!” Finally, we found a civilian post office and bought air letters.

Then we met up with a cute female guide, Margaret, for the day. She wore a native costume with green anklets. She helped us get a guidebook in a tabak shop. At first she had trouble with a mike she was using so we could hear her.

I caught sight of the fortification on the left bank of the river, big grey building for trials, and prison. Then we passed an exhibition building and a Salzburg swimming pool full of kids, which had been made by the Americans. As we reached the top of the mountain we saw seven lakes. Then we passed barracks that had been built for German soldiers by Hitler that later was used as a concentration camp. The buildings were now private houses.

As we continued workmen were oiling the entrance of Hellbrunn Palace in Salzburg and its grounds. There were fish in the pond and then the water turned on in the mechanical theater that was built by salt mine workers. The water came out of stools, around the tables, out of tabletops, and out of the ground by the stools. Our guide, Margaret, tried to keep us together and warned us about the artificial rain that would be coming. This show included 114 moving figures, then afterwards the artificial rain would start all over again. We all got a little wet on this last dealy. The archbishop who built this must have been quite a card.

Margaret, our guide told us how all the refugees were trying to get into the United States zone. The intelligent ones found creative ways to get out of the Russian zone like through the arch of water. She said if the Russians ever came to Austria she would kill herself. Once again she warned us to get up on the steps to avoid the artificial rain. Dr. Rogers was standing down when the water came out under the step and his pants got a little wet.

Then we followed the regular palace tour and one man asked when the guide was going to say the information in English. Finally our guide who spoke many languages repeated to us what the guide was saying. Afterwards, we saw the gardens back in town and there was a famous high school music course. Music students were here for six weeks from all over the world.

We all trekked into the Mirabell Service Club which was now the EES Snack Bar where we found high school students practicing. Mirabell used to be one of the finest restaurants in Salzburg.
Then we were off to the Landes Theater, Trinity Church and a castle built by a famous archbishop. This archbishop gave the castle to a gypsy dancer, Mirabell, and it’s now used for town administration.

Soon after Margaret took us to a white house with a little wooden garden house where Mozart had composed The Magic Flute. As we continued we saw the Mozart Hotel, American Officers Hotel, and a famous cafe.

There was a small street with lots of traffic with tiny narrow streets going through to the next street. In the evening before a concert there could be over 5,000 vehicles in this area. Margaret told us that Napoleon had been in Salzburg three different times in his lifetime.

When I looked up I could see the houses built in the mountains. In olden times rocks would fall down on the houses and would kill many people. Starting in 1669 every spring the Austrians began clearing the loose rocks. After that it became much safer. There were bakery shops from 1429 a.d. A gate going into the old town was built by Markus Sittikus von Hohenems, Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg, who made Hellbrun Palace in the 1600’s. We discovered some famous white horses and a stable and bathing place for the horses there. Afterwards, we passed the Restaurant Hotel Goldener Kirch, a famous restaurant.

While traveling on a street through the mountains we discovered the old University of Salzburg. This school, which provides secondary education, was called a gymnasium. Next we saw the market place in front of the University Church. We drove down the main street of the old town, which had been Mozart’s birthplace.

Nearby was a Franciscan Church that was the most interesting church in Salzburg to me. It had a wood carved altar. Then a Franciscan Monastery and Benedictins. Johann Michael Haydn, who was a famous composer, was buried in Salzburg. I noticed there was Baroque architecture all around us.

Farther on we observed a famous wine restaurant built in the mountains and St. Peters Cemetery which was located at the foot of the catacombs from 300 a.d. Blue Beard of Salzburg and many famous people were buried here.

Our guide told of a citizen of Salzburg that was killed by his seven wives by tickling him to death. The catacombs that were carved into the rock of the Festungsberg had provided hiding place for the Christians in the mountains. It was considered the oldest place in Salzburg. In 1491 a.d. the nearby St. Margaret’s Chapel was only opened for burial ceremonies.

Our bus turned around and we headed back to American Express. Our guide pointed out where Franz Schubert, an Austrian composer, had slept. The bus continued down the street where Mozart had been born. After a short distance we got out of the bus and ate at a café along this street. They charged us more than the menu had stated.

Now onto Mozart’s Museum where there was a sample of Mozart’s hair. Displays included his first violin, piano, and clavichord. There was a family portrait of Mozart with his family tree. Herr Watkins commented, “Mozart couldn’t stand the people in Salzburg and now he’s their favorite son.”

Next was an exhibit of a complete collection of his works. Amazingly Mozart was five years old at his first concert and performed before European royalty.

Lucile and I ran down to the little box office to get tickets for the concert tonight. There were 30 and 48 schilling seats to choose from. Then we wandered around to the catacombs, Mozart’s grave, and St. Margaret’s Chapel. This was the oldest church in Austria and Germany. There was a tomb with a tree growing out of the grave, tombstone, and wall. Next we hurried over to the Salzburg Square and Cathedral, which housed the largest organ in Austria. There was a Dominic organ and we listened to a recital. As I looked around I noticed the small altar. And the cathedral had been bombed and was being rebuilt.

Then we went down through an old gate to a little bakery which had been operating since 1429 a.d. We bought delicious honey bread and ate it in front of the shop while it was warm. We rushed back to the Glockenspiel in time to hear the bells play Minuet of Don Juan.

A small mad search ensued for the “john.” We hurriedly rushed up one alley and down another. Thankfully a lady looking out a window took us up to a private one up the stairs.

Afterwards, we wrote letters in the post office while some kids left to go back on the bus. Eloise and I went over to buy tickets for the concert. While waiting we sat near an American lady who taught music in Vienna. Then we purchased tickets for the trolley to St. Leonhard in case we were rushed for time getting to the concert.

Arriving at the concert Lucile and I had different seats on the top of the balcony. One seat on one side and another seat on the other side. There were mostly tourists and students in the audience. I sat next to an Italian fellow and lady from the eastern United States who had been teaching in Vienna for the past year. She had been to Utah and when I told her we were from BYU she replied that there were 50 Mormons in Vienna. I hadn’t even told her I was one, but she just presumed it.
The chamber music started and it was good. Afterwards, while we were waiting for the trolley we went to the ESS Snack Bar but they wouldn’t serve us. We didn’t have a PX card. We took the trolley back in the dark. Thankfully there was a delicious dinner waiting in our rooms.

Manner, Dress of Austrians Intrigue Visitors From Utah

Editor’s note: This is another in a series of articles by Mrs. Afton Hansen of Provo giving her impressions of an European tour she is making with a group of Utah college students.

Dear Friends;
Since last writing to you about our entrance into Germany, we have crossed the Austria-Germany border many times, with the usual passport procedure. Now in Austria we are partaking of its hearty hospitality.

“Its meadows living green, its harvests gold.
Broidered with flax and saffron, blue and yellow,
Sweet spiced with flowers and many a fragrant fruit,
A rich bouquet of blossoms every-where,
Tied with the Danube’s bow of silver ribbon.”
Franz Grillparzer.

Innsbruck on the River Inn is a fairy-tale city, so the guide book says, and that, we can easily believe, for we reached it late at night after traveling over curved mountain roads for hours. The lights of the valley town seemed so far below the lights in the darkness above. Not being able to see the outline of the lofty Tyrolean Alps, the lights from those castles, really seemed to be in the sky. Though at night, not in dream, they were castles in the sky.

Next morning, songs of birds in the wooded area close to our window was a pleasant awakening. The entire day at Inglerhog Hotel was a paradise enjoyed by the wealthy folk and also by us. Majestic mountain scenery seen from lawn chairs or walks in the garden or on mountain paths was relaxing to our travel weary selves.

The homey countryside added to our repose, with its ripened fields of heavy headed grain, hay being pitched and hauled, and in several spots, close to a tree, was a canopied crucifix where these sincerely genuine peasants could kneel to thank God for their plentiful harvests and good families.

Many steep mountain slopes are also cultivated. Often, farmers have not a meter of level land and it is said that even the chickens have climbing irons.

It is no wonder that these Tyrolean ladies wear no makeup. Climbing steep mountains, working in the fields, riding bicycles to work in town and factory, gives them a natural glow and sparkle with sturdy wholesomeness.

More often in these Alpine villages and towns, than in other countries, is the native dress worn. The Tyrolean dirndle skirt of the women of course is worn all over the world, but here combined with it is the puffed sleeve blouse over which is the red sleeveless basque with its sweetheart shaped front. An apron, low heeled shoes and half socks complete the costume and often the wardrobe. Very little jewelry is worn, nor is it seen to any extent in the shops.

The costume of the Tyrolean men is delightfully amusing to us. Those everlasting short leather pants are worn by many workers, hikers, natives and tourists. You will see some of our girls wearing them when they come home. They haven’t yet purchased the green suede hat with a 16 inch white chicken feather or brown brush-like decoration worn by the men of Tyrol. Tyrol is one of the nine provinces of Austria which has so much local color and atmosphere. Here we would love to stay longer.

The choice piece in many an inn is the colored tile stove.

In the dining room of our Sasthaus zum Schorn, in St. Leonhard, is one of light-green ceramic tile, narrow high-boy style, tall enough to reach the ceiling. In the next room, the beer parlor, is another beauty in tile stoves. It is dark green tile about five feet square, domed with cream colored tile which is studded with balls of dark green. Around the stove, and close to it, is a well polished hardwood bench (probably polished by the leather panted sitters), where the jolly people can sit and warm their backs during the cold winter evening.

During the month of August, as many as four opportunities a day are given for music lovers (and who isn’t such a lover in this spot) to enjoy the music of native musicians. Mozart, Hadyn, Bruchner, Schuber, Ravel, Strauss, Beethoven and others. If we were going to be here long enough and had we made reservations fully 10 months in advance we could have seen and heard the seasons rich offering of The Marriage of Figaro, The Misanthrope, The Magic Flute (we visited the house where Mozart wrote it), and The Love of Danae, Strauss’ last opera, only by a few hours did we miss Everyman, a play performed so effectively in open air in front of St. Peters cathedral.
Being scheduled to give the program in church in Vienna the bus and most of the students went on. Only four remained to attend the Sunday morning offering of the festival in Salzburg, of which I may tell you more, at a later day.

In Austria as in Germany, American G.I.’s are everywhere present. In Salzburg there are about 50 LDS servicemen, who hold their regular Sunday services.

Since 1946 the Allies have been conducting negotiations with the aim of reaching an agreement on an Austrian State Treaty for the long promised freedom and complete independence. Just recently the Austrian government has appealed to the United Nations to bring about evacuation of their territory. The four powers have held 258 meetings on the problem, at the last of which the Soviet delegate was not present. In the meantime, the natural resources are unlawfully held from the Austrian people. Direct costs up to 1951 amount to $530,000,000 aside of the losses to Austrian economy. By far are those losses and expenses created by the Soviet Forces. Chief of them is the seizure of Austrian oil products. Some 270,300 acres of farm land in the richest provinces of lower Austria have been seized for maneuvers and proving grounds. One half of the fleet of Danube River Steam-ships and virtually all warehouses have been seized as well as 600 railroad engines with thousands of box cars, and at least 30,000 telephones.

All this is disheartening to the Austrian people, but they bravely carry on. Austria is a democratic republic. All citizens of the federation are equal before the law. Privileges of birth, sex, position and class and religion are abolished. Freedom of worship and conscience, freedom of press, freedom of assembly and association and correspondence are guaranteed by the basic laws.
The letter to me from my folks, which reached me in Vienna, was censored.

Within an area a little larger than the state of Maine, and with population of seven million there is a total of 6,105 schools of various levels—not including the Peoples University Movement, which is in full swing.

Austria has a rich and varied background, dating back to about 3500 b.c. when the first settlements began. About 2400 b.c.  the Indo-Germanic tribes found their way to the Danube River and Alpine regions—then in 400 b.c.  came the onrushing Celts. The expanding Roman Empire overflowed into what is now Austria about 200 b.c.  and about 300 a.d. Christianity began to spread in Austria and then in 1952 came the students from Brigham Young University in America in a bus chauffeured by Andre’ Gullchard, a Frenchman. Austria will “never be the same,” but it will undoubtedly recover from this visit as well as the visits of the warriors and bombs.

Afton Hansen

60 Years Ago Today

Thursday, 31 July 1952:

At 6:30 a.m. I had a drip bath. Then I devoured another delicious continental breakfast. Soon after Helen and Margaret appeared in leather shorts ready to go. We got on the bus and wound down the road from Inglerhof into Innsbruck. A boy in shorts ran along beside the bus. He took a shortcut and beat us down the hill.

We passed the palace and theatre where there were two knights in silver armor in the store window. Then we traveled over a bridge above Inn River in Innsbruck where there was a sloping foot bridge. There were rows of wheat and hay drying on pointed sticks with, of course, red tile roofed houses. Little girls were out hoeing in the field, just like I used to do, with red and blue field rakes.

We drove by the sugar beet fields, corn fields, and a grey river. We passed fields of sticks with two cross boards and I guessed it was for the grain. And I spied other sticks with prongs. There were old castles along the way both high up on the hills and near the road. Another boy with leather shorts was washing in the trough by the road.

An overwhelming scent of fertilizer or manure wafted through the bus as I spotted a crucifix by the side of the road with flowers growing at its feet. Then I noticed a house with three different kinds of roofing with rocks spaced around the house on one section. As we continued to drive there were well stacked manure piles, which were square and flat on top. A man in leather shorts was mowing the field with a mower just like at home with a team of horses. There was so much scenery to look at in Austria.

After a while we reached the border to cross from Austria into Germany. Leaving Austria was as simple as Herr Rogers passport getting stamped for all of us.

Once again we crossed the Inn River and came to German customs on the other side. We waited while passports were stamped and cards were filled out for everybody. We wanted to get a picture of the customs official and border. We waited and waited till I finally had to settle for a picture of Helen and Margaret in their shorts by the border.

Then the custom officials herded us back in the bus and a customs man came out to us. Once again I was foiled with my picture taking. But I must say the German customs were really efficient and thorough.

Across the border Dick made an announcement, “It was our second month anniversary together.” He presented each of us girls with a flower which was gathered from along the border. Then we saw a road building crew as we passed what looked like a large factory of some kind. After driving awhile on one of Hitler’s big super highways, the autobahn, we traveled across another bridge over the Inn River again. Either the highway or river was circling, because we kept passing over the Inn River.

I observed benches and waste baskets by the side of the road for picnickers. They were located right in the middle of freshly cut hay fields with groves of trees behind it. Then turned off the autobahn to go to the castle. Dick was hanging out the window trying to pick an apple from each tree en route to the castle. There were summer sales in this little town, Prien, just like in Munich.

We stopped at the Hotel Bayerischen Hof Restaurant which had a long hallway with wooden booths and chairs. I noticed a green and yellow squared porcelain stove. There were snapdragons on the tables with the back of two booths with cute little dealies to hang coats on. The waitress knew only German. For some unknown reason Andre wouldn’t speak any German there.

We had delicious tomato soup with hot plates for the second course of wiener schnitzel. All of us had to be back by 20 minutes after the hour. While three of us got served first the other kids were getting worried about the time. I guess the hotel had to go out and kill another calf.

After the meal Alice paid her bill and then the waitress gave me my bill. We had the same meal but our totals were different. Alice thought she had been cheated because she had paid 3.79 schillings. Actually it was added as 3.17 pfennig and mine was added at 3.30 pfennig. I had been overcharged 10 pfennig and the waitress gave me back 10 pfennig. Alice tried to explain that she still had been overcharged.

In short it was quite an interesting experience as the other kids caught up with us. Five of us used the WC for 20 pfennig. Then we hurried back to the bus via the pastry shop with only a minute to spare.

Our next adventure involved a trip off to Chiemsee on a boat similar to the one on Lake Geneva. There were first and second class rates and it provided a good chance to sunbathe. I had my ever present shorts under my skirt which came in handy. There were sailboats around us as I took pictures of the kids on the boat. We had smooth sailing and nobody got sick. A big crowd waited on the shore to greet us. Then we had a long stroll down the road to a castle.

After we bought a ticket to the museum, we wandered inside with paintings and statues of King Ludwig. Also I observed sketches of the crown jewels, costumes, inlaid ivory carved pipes, and a jeweled bible. There were medals and coins of all kinds, shapes, and sizes. I viewed a baby dress along with pictures of the baby wearing the dress and his family too.

There was a section that was dedicated to Richard Wagner, a German composer and conductor. I discovered music by Wagner, programs of opera by Wagner, scenes from operas, letters from King Ludwig to Wagner, and letters from Wagner to the King Ludwig. Then in another area I viewed sketches of furniture, Miessen porcelain, paintings of royal carriages, and a portrait of King Ludwig in a statue.

As we continued on the tour we saw: a throne, pictures of gowns, costumes of royalty, small model of Munich Opera House, costumes from opera, model of Falkenstein Castle, drawings and plans for other castles, and small model of a honeymoon carriage which we saw in the Deutche Museum in Munich. Other paintings I looked at included Walkure, Meistersinger, Lohengrin, and Tannhauser, and Tristan and Isolde. Upon exiting the museum I noticed the heavy thick woods that surrounded the castle.

Afterwards we headed back to the boats and then to the bus. We retraced the road to the autobahn past a little village with a tall, tall pole with peculiar looking things all the way down the pole. I was too far away to see what it was.

Next we came across a bombed out bridge and detoured to the river bottom and back up. We cut off the road before we reached Salzburg in search of our hotel. We knew the hotel was out of the town so there was no use in going in town and back out again. We traveled through a little town with lots of shops, chalets, and a church.

Oh, Oh! Guess what? We got lost! We got on the wrong road or something. Dr. Watkins ran down a road to get some dope on the situation. He came back riding on a truck and told us we had missed the road back a ways. We went back, found the turn, and hit the border “Toute siste.” We pulled out our passports and had community singing while we waited.

A German customs officers came to the door of the bus and was amazed to see so many “schon madchens.” We left our passports at the border since it took up to 30 minutes to process them. So we’ll pick up the passports later. By the Linden tree we turned and traveled up the little road. Here it was! The Sonnhof Hotel in Austria looks quite pretty and new.

Oh! Oh! Consternation, because this hotel was full. There was a group of 28 students who had come over on the Grodte Beer. Three of the students who went back with us gave us some clues about England. They informed us that there was no sugar and hardly any food in the country. Dr. Rogers made some phone calls to someone at the hotel. The manager said that the hotel had turned down American Express a month ago concerning our reservations.

I strolled down the road with Margaret as we followed Dr. Watkins, Dick and Henry. We ended up at the border to pick up all of the passports. A man took us to a hotel near the border where maybe they could take care of us. It looked nice but if American Express had another spot for us they wouldn’t want to pay a lot of money for this hotel.

As we hurried back to the bus the other kids had been watching a soccer game down the hill. Apparently we got more hotel names so we were off in search of a place to stay. On our search I spotted a cow trail. I wondered if it went back to the autobahn. It was an exploration for me. Yep! It did, so off we went. It was getting late and we were getting hungrier. We started singing to take our minds off of it.

I don’t know how we found the hotel but we did. Actually we decided on two hotels to stay. One hotel was the Drachenloch Hotel in the little town of St. Leonhard at the foot of the hills and another hotel. Drachenloch Hotel had been expecting us since 6 p.m. and had dinner waiting for us. In the light of the moon it looked like Hotel Todtmauer. But when I got to my room that I was sharing with Betty Lou and Alice, it was entirely different. It was nice and clean with cold running water in our rooms. As we took our bags down from the bus for two different hotels it caused great confusion amongst us.

Finally, we ate dinner. It was delicious even though it had been ready for several hours. The manager wore lederhosen, which were breeches made of leather. The hotel had rustic halls, dining room, and wonderful service.

60 Years Ago Today


Wednesday, 30 July 1952:

As I rolled over in my bed in the honeymoon suite it felt so good that I couldn’t get out of my bed. After we arrived here last night most of us went dancing and Innsbruck lost.

I finally got up around 10 a.m. to a huge continental breakfast. There were four different kinds of jam we could choose from. We had sent out for more rolls and the waitress brought us warm toast to tide us over. We had two big pitchers of chocolate and hard-boiled eggs. All of this food was only 2.75 schillings which was about 10 cents for us. They didn’t rush us or scowl at us or anything. Alicia asked for ein glass wasser and they brought all of us water in wine goblets.

The hotel had a beautiful lobby and some sitting rooms. The window boxes along the outside looked like opera boxes which were filled with beautiful begonias and other flowers. Lawn furniture was provided for enjoying the sunshine.

At 11 a.m. part of the gang headed for town. I decided to throw off my procrastinating and get letters off to all three of my aunts. I spent the better part of the rest of the day seeping in the beauty of my surroundings which included the mountains, hotel and town.

Later I airmailed the letters home for 6.20 schillings and regular mail to Sweden for 2.40 schillings. Then I walked down thru Ingls, Austria, about 5 p.m. going in and out of several little shops. There were lots of pretty jewelry and trinkets. I contemplated taking a bus down to Innsbruck, but I reconsidered when it started raining.

I hurried back to the hotel and found a little writing room where Carmela and I discussed our experiences so far. After the rain subsided I went out and back to my room. I ran into Dr. Watkins who had been sightseeing today and here I was under the delusion there was nothing particular to see.

Dinner at the hotel was over at 6 p.m., so we caught the 6:30 bus downtown and to the operetta. I enjoyed the bus ride even though you did have to hang on for all you were worth. It was a beautiful view of the valley, Innsbruck, and mountains. I noticed a little wooden teepee by the roadside and cute little garden like a patchwork quilt. Oh, what a beautiful shot!

On the bus there were two men with red jackets on that looked like native costumes and had musical instruments. Dr. Watkins pointed out the palace, museum, and church where Emperor Maximilian was buried.

After getting off the bus, we stopped at the Museumkeller Restaurant where the kids had eaten earlier. It had loads of atmosphere as I ate wienerschnitzel, soup, and vegetables for 40 cents. For 50 cents more at another place I could have had the same meal with a cleaner table cover.

Here in Austria the restaurants didn’t charge for the table cover like in France. Each roll or piece of bread costs 45 Groschen, which was about 2 cents, or 8 francs in Strasbourg, which was about 4 cents.

When we had finished we dashed over to the Landes Theatre. The theatre was not real elaborate but interesting. I bought a ticket for 80 cents or 20 schillings. In the city the streets were fairly wide and I noticed shops didn’t pull iron blinds down on the windows here. So I could actually go window shopping. They had cute little round waste baskets that hung from the light posts like in Strasbourg. However, the baskets were not white.

When we finally scurried off to the theater for the operetta, a lady in a uniform rented to us opera glasses for 2 schillings and program for 20 schillings to us.

I found myself on the 7th row with a big aisle in front of us so we didn’t get stepped on. The circular auditorium had boxes five stories high directly above each other. At this operetta there was no dressing up. Everyone just came dressed as they were, I do believe. Local advertising flashed on the curtain while the orchestra played the introduction.

The Strauss operetta, Gypsy Baron, had three acts and three changes of scenery. Strangely when people clapped after one of the leads sang, the lead would sing another number. The crowd encored one Gypsy and Baron duet so they bowed and sang another song. Then there was another encore with a general and dancers. All of this was a new wrinkle to me.

There were such incredible costumes, but at the same time most of the male singers had a little too much tummy. Eloise and I slept on each others shoulders between the second and third acts. Alice poked at us to look up and there were people looking down at us with either curiosity or disgust.

When the operetta was over, we dashed down to the street car stop. At a little street side stand I grabbed two frankfurters and a piece of bread with mustard for 4.50 schillings. I just couldn’t resist. Herr Watkins got a Salzbourg for 3.80 schillings.

Eventually we realized Hermine and Cherie were not there. The doctors went looking to find them. Dr. Rogers went down to the bus stop. Soon after they casually strolled up just before the trolley arrived. We had a brisk walk from the trolley to the hotel up the winding road. “Mein bed where art thou?”

As I changed for bed I contemplated how the Austrian people seem to be a cross between the Italians and Germans. They seemed on first impression to be more openly curious and carefree than the Germans, but not as open or direct as the Italians.


50 for 50 #12 – Sound of Music

The Sound of Music (film)

The Sound of Music (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I got the chance to visit Austria the summer of 1983 with the BYU women’s volleyball team. So for this week’s 50 for 50 to celebrate my 50th birthday, I checked out The Sound of Music from our local library. The library has an amazing collection of videos that we enjoy. It has been many, many years since I watched The Sound of Music.

I enjoyed the scenery and the story but most of all I love the music. I couldn’t help but sing along with most of the songs. I remember songs better than most things and I love to sing. Growing up the records I remember most were from musicals. I would play them over and over and sing along.  It was kind of late Sunday night when we started the movie so we had to stop at the intermission and finish it tonight.

I found out at Christmas that The Sound of Music of music is my mom’s favorite movie, so I’ll keep this so she can watch it when they come over for a visit this week.