Letter From - Summer 2013

Vienna: Selective Amnesia

Subscription required


By Alice Miller

June 10, 2013

Last December, on a morning run through a city park in Vienna’s second district, I stumbled across a strange sight: a huge concrete tower looming above the snow. The park, the Augarten, features Vienna’s oldest Baroque gardens and once hosted concerts conducted by Mozart. Today the 17th-century Palais Augarten is the headquarters of the Vienna Boys’ Choir. But the giant, stained tower that rises above the park and the smaller tower that stands nearby? Alongside Vienna’s traditional architecture—imposing, ornate, and meticulously maintained—the towers look like they’ve been ripped out of a cartoon dystopia.

The park’s website tells me that they are Flaktürme, antiaircraft gun towers, ordered by Hitler and built in the 1940s to protect Vienna from bombing. Berlin and Hamburg had similar towers.

Login to view the full article

If you are a current digital subscriber, login here.

Forgot password?

Need to register?

Already a subscriber through The American Scholar Digital or Print/Digital Combination?


Are you a Phi Beta Kappa sustaining member?

Want to subscribe?

Would you like to subscribe and gain complete access to our website?

Are you a print subscriber that would like digital access too? Renew your subscription at the Print and Digital level and your current print subscription will automatically be upgraded as well.

Alice Miller grew up in New Zealand, studied at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and now lives in Vienna.

Comments powered by Disqus