On December 7, 1917 the United States declared war on Austria-Hungary. It is to discuss what caused this drastic step. In any case, there were hardly any direct fights between American and Austrian soldiers (Yes, an Austrian mortar hit Hemingway in Northern Italy). It was more in the diplomatic field that the struggle lingered on. The recognition of an independent Czechoslovakia helped to disintegrate the old monarchy. The Paris Peace Conference of 1919 with its non-transparent procedures and often one-sided propositions finished it off. In-depth research in Vienna and in the US (Library of Congress, National Archives, libraries at top universities - Columbia, Duke, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Yale) supports that conflict among the nationalities was encouraged from outside. At the end, a rather bizarre construction named Mid-European Union was thought to fill the vacuum in Central and Eastern Europe. The US and her fresh troops entering at a late stage finally decided the Great War. Lacking international experience and knowledge of European and global affairs the US did a lot to gather data und prepare for the event in Paris. All good will was no match to the old intrigues of Europe.
Introduction: Richard Schifter, born in Austria, former Assistant Secretary of State
When: Wednesday, April 5, 2017 | 7:30 pm
Where: Austrian Cultural Forum, 3524 International Court NW, Washington, DC, 20008
Tickets: General admission is free and open to the public.
Kurt Bednar: Born in 1950 in Vienna, Austria, Kurt Bednar graduated from Albertus Magnus private gymnasium Vienna in 1969 and from the University of Vienna (faculty of law) in 1974. His work life has carried him through employments with the government and the chamber of commerce as well as entrepreneurial positions in fields like databases, data protection and company pensions. He graduated from the University of Vienna a second time in 2012 (faculty of philosophy, department of history). Since then he has been involved in history projects dealing with emigration from Austria-Hungary to the US as well as the struggle between the US and Austria-Hungary in 1917/1918 (“Paper War”).