Dear Readers,

December, 2004


As the year 2004 draws to a rapid close, let me point out some Austrian highlights of the past months. The long-awaited visit of President Moshe Katzav took place in October. He met with Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel and was the first foreign dignitary to encounter the newly sworn-in Austrian Foreign Minister, Ursula Plassnik.

A month earlier the President of the Knesset, Reuven Rivlin, also came to Austria and held talks with the President of the National Council, Andreas Khol.

The Washington Post* published an exclusive interview with the Secretary General of the Austrian National Fund, Hannah Lessing, who began disbursing additional money to each victim of the National Socialist Regime.

Read about a meeting between Israeli and Palestinian youth in an Austrian Peace Camp, and the work of two Austrian scientists who are currently researching the life of one of the greatest cabaret artists, Fritz Grünbaum.

You will also find an obituary on the great Austrian resistance fighter, Carl Szokoll, who died last July. The Museum of Ethnology is exhibiting the collection of Eugenie Goldstern who tried to abolish - through her work - the traditional difference between the notions "primitive" and "civilized."

Vienna is planning another large Holocaust Memorial on the Aspang grounds; Die Presse interviewed the head of the Israelite Religious Community in Vienna, Ariel Muzicant; and the European Council adopted a recommendation for the fight against anti-Semitism.

Season's Greetings,

Christoph Meran
Austrian Press and Information Service

*It is uncustomary for this publication of media coverage to include news sources other than those from Austria. However, due to the importance of the matter, we have decided to make an exception this time