Hitler Balcony

Should Vienna’s ‘Hitler Balcony’ Be Opened to the Public?

On the morning of March 15, 1938, Adolf Hitler left his room at Vienna’s Imperial Hotel for the short ride down the Ringstrasse to the Neue Burg, the final wing added to the sprawling Hofburg imperial palace completed in 1919. The Neue Burg is situated on Heldenplatz (Heroe’s Square) where some 250,000 Austrians had gathered to hear him speak. Standing on the large balcony overlooking the square, Hitler proclaimed the Anschluss, the annexation of Austria into the greater German Reich: “The oldest Ostmark”—the Nazi name for Austria, meaning its eastern borderland—“of the German people shall be the youngest bulwark of the German nation and thus the German empire.” Since 1945, the balcony has been closed to the general public. Now, with the opening of the House of Austrian History, Vienna’s contemporary history museum, in 2018, the...

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Son of Jewish Refugee Elected Prime Minister of New Zealand

By Nonna Gorilovskaya John Key, son of a Jewish refugee, was elected the next prime minister of Middle-earth New Zealand, the country best known for its kiwi fruit and as the gorgeous backdrop for the Lord of the Rings movies. Ruth Lazar, Key's mother, escaped Austria in 1939 with her family to Britain by paying for a paper marriage. After the war, she married George Key, and the couple immigrated to New Zealand. John's father died of a heart attack when he was six. Ruth raised John and his two sisters by herself in public housing. Key started out as a currency trader in his 20s and rose to become head of foreign exchange for Merrill Lynch and a multimillionaire. The center-right National Party recruited him to run as an MP in 2002, and his political career...

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