Back in August, 2017, I visited the biggest synagogue in Budapest, the Dohány Street Synagogue, and was told the following story by the tour guide:
During WWII there were approximately 70,000 Jewish people put into a Ghetto. The Hungarian government made a deal with Hitler that in exchange for free transportation of the Nazi army through Hungary, these Jewish people would not need to be sent to the concentration camp. However, were these people safe? No. The Hungarian army rounded up dozens of people at a time, brought them to the Danube on boats, and shot them. They then pushed the dead bodies into the river.
The tree pictured above is in the courtyard of the Synagogue, is called the Tree of Life, and the leaves (as shown below) are engraved with the names of Jewish people who passed away.
Unfortunately, my computer crashed and I lost all of my other photos of inside the Synagogue. However, I would definetely recommend to visit.
I found a little trail by the Schlossmuseum which led me to the below view of the Donau river.
On this little trail, there was also a statue of Johannes Kepler. He was a 17th century German mathematician, astronomer, and astrologer. There is a university in Linz named after him.
What I really like about Linz, is finding unique art on the side of buildings.
Linz may be an industrial city, but sometimes it can be rather beautiful.
I first heard about a person named James Comey when President Trump fired him from his job as FBI Director for his failure to agree to be “loyal” to Trump. Famously, he agreed to be “loyally honest” in some sort of weird compromise. From Austria, I watched Comey’s hearing testimony before Congress with great interest. Many blamed him for Hilary Clinton’s defeat.
When I learned that he had written a book, I was intrigued to see his perspective on the controversial Presidency and Hilary email scandal. Although most of the book was about Comey’s career before Trump became president, Comey did have this to say about Trump:
“Donald Trump’s Presidency threatens much of what is good in this nation. We all bear responsibility for the deeply flawed choices put before voters during the 2016 election and our country is paying a high price. This President is unethical and untethered to truth and institutional values. His leadership is transactional, ego driven, and about personal loyalty. We are fortunate some ethical leaders have chosen to serve and to stay at senior levels of government, but they cannot prevent all the damage from the forest fire that is the Trump presidency. Their task is to try to contain it.”
Continue reading “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership by James Comey”
According to Wikipedia:
“A Christmas market, also known as Christkindlmarkt (literally: Baby Jesus Market), Christkindlesmarkt, Christkindlmarket, Christkindlimarkt, and Weihnachtsmarkt, is a street market associated with the celebration of Christmas during the four weeks of Advent. These markets originated in Germany, but are now being held in many other countries. The history of Christmas markets goes back to the Late Middle Ages in the German-speaking part of Europe, and in many parts of the former Holy Roman Empire that includes many eastern regions of France. The Christmas markets of Bautzen were first held in 1384. Dresden‘s Striezelmarkt was first held in 1434. Frankfurt was first mentioned in 1393, Munich in 1310, and Augsburg in 1498. In Austria, Vienna’s “December market” can be considered a forerunner of Christmas markets and dates back to 1298.
Continue reading “Christmas Markets in Linz”
In this edge-of-your-seat thriler by Lisa Scottoline, Dr. Noah Alderman, a pediatric allergist, is on trial for strangling his teenage stepdaughter, Anna, to death. Maggie Alderman, his second wife, lost custody of Anna when she was an infant because Maggie suffered from post pardum psychosis and was a danger to Anna’s life. Maggie’s ex-husband, Florian, was a spiteful jerk, who never let Maggie see her daughter, even though he was not very interested in a relationship with Anna. He basically dropped her off at boarding school, where she was parked for most of her childhood.
When multi-millionare Florian, his new wife and two sons die in a horrible plane crash, heiress Anna reaches out to her mother. Maggie is thrilled, and invites Anna to move in with her, Noah, and Noah’s son Caleb.
That is when everything starts to go horribly wrong. Anna is not the sweet girl that Maggie imagines. She is manipulative, a spendthrift, a liar, and pits Noah against Maggie in an attempt to get Maggies all to herself. After Anna makes some shocking allegations, Maggie and Noah’s marriage falls apart.
The story flips between the past and the present, and the facts behind the murder are revealed a little at a time, keeping the reader in suspense. Full of twists and turns, not everything in this book is what it seems.
Will Noah be exonerated of Anna’s murder? Read this great book to find out!
Check out this book on Goodreads: After Anna http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34964864-after-anna
One of the things that I miss about America, is celebrating Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is an American national holiday which occurs on the third Thursday of November.
According to the History website, “Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday in the United States, and Thanksgiving 2018 occurs on Thursday, November 22. In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.” To learn more about Thanksgiving, click on the attached link.
Last year I hosted a Thanksgiving at my apartment, but it was super complicated. This year I decided to host a dinner at Tamu Sana, an East African restaurant in Linz. If you go with four or more people, you can order the family style meal. You can tell them whether you want vegetarian or meat.
Continue reading “Thanksgiving in Austria”
Alaska “is like no other, it is beauty, and horror, savior and destroyer. Here, where survival is a choice that must be made over and over. In the wildest place in America on the edge of civilization where water in all its forms can kill you, you learn who you are. Not who you dream of being, not who you imagined you are, not who you were raised to be. All of that will be torn away in the months of icy darkness when frost on the windows blurs your view and the world gets very small and you stumble into the truth of your existence. You learn what you will do to survive.”
When Lenny’s father, Ernt, returns from being a POW in Vietnam, he is a changed man. Prone to violent nightmares and easily agitated, he clearly suffers from PTSD, which he often treats by self medicating with alcohol, as there was no real understanding of PTSD at this time. After losing yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision to move the family to Alaska, to live off the grid in the homestead that Ernt inherited from a fellow solider he befriended while in Vietnam. He promises that everything will be different (for the better) in Alaska. Cora, Ernt’s wife, and Lenny agree because they are desperate to get the pre-war Ernt back.
Continue reading “The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah”
Two years ago I imported my cat from America. Before I looked into it, I thought that I would have to quarantine her for 3 months. Luckily this wasn’t the case. Essentially, what I had to do in short (for the detailed version please see here at the Austrian Embassy’s website.
1. Get the cat microchipped. A lot of vets have varying opinions on whether to inject a topical pain killer into the area for insertion of the microchip, since the width of the microchip needle is much thicker than normal needles. The vet I went to in Texas told me that it was not necessary, and just prolonged the stress of the cat, so I went with his expert advice. From the reaction of poor Katzie (eyes bugging out in surprise, and what I can only imagine was pain), I regret listening to the vet. I should have gone with my gut and given her the painkiller. After insertion of the microchip she was very scared (another indication that it hurt her).
In theory, the microchip is supposed to be scanned at the border control upon your first entry into the EU to verify it is the same animal as described in the paperwork, but in my case they didn’t do it.
2. Rabies shot after microchip insertion: The rabies shot had to be given after the microchip was implanted (even if only a few seconds). I thought it was a dumb rule at the time, but what can you do? The rabies shot has to be given more than 21 days before entry into the EU, otherwise it is not valid — unless you have proof that the animal has had routine rabies shots at regular intervals.
Continue reading “Importing an American Cat to Austria”