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Austria - Hitler's first victim?

An analysis of a series of photographs showing the Anschluss of Austria to Germany and a historical reading of Ernst Jandl’s poem Vienna: Heldenplatz.

  • Assessment: Presentation and Analysis
  • Mark: B for the written analysis, A for the presentation
  • Year: 2006
  • Wordcount: 1374

The Artefacts

The Poem

Ernst Jandl
Wien: Heldenplatz (1962)
der glanze heldenplatz zirka
versaggerte in maschenhaften männchenmeere
drunter auch frauen die ans maskelknie
zu heften heftig sich versuchten, hoffensdick
und brüllzten wesentlich.
verwogener stirnscheitelunterschwang
nach nöten nördlich, kechelte
mit zu-nummernder aufs bluten feilzer stimme
hinsensend sämmertliche eigenwäscher.
döppelte der gottelbock von Sa-Atz zu Sa-Atz
mit hünig sprekem stimmstummel.
balzerig würmelte es im männchensee
und den weibern ward so pfinstig ums heil
zumahn: wenn ein knie-ender sie hirschelte.

Vienna: Heldenplatz (1962)
the gloryomplete heldenplatz, approximately
refounderd in ablundand manikinmain
’mong them women that on the masculknee
tried to pin themselves fiercly and hopethick
and inheatroared substantially.
adoughious foreheadpartingunderswing
needly northly, panted
with a slam-numbering bloody foldsold voice
scything some selfwashers.
doubolloped the goddygoat from ss-entence to ss-entence
with a giantic spreak stump of a voice
it wormed matingly inside the manikinsea
and the females felt so penetrecostal ‘round the heil
especianny: when a knee-ender stagged them.

(The translation is in the interest of comprehensibility.
It has not been authorized by the author of the poem.)

The Pictures

100.000 German troops had marched into Austria during the 12th-13th of March 1938. The series of photographs show cheering Austrian’s welcoming Hitler and his troops at the Heldenplatz in Vienna. The poet Ernst Jandl deals with this reaction to the Anschluss and published in 1962 a retrospective analysis. Ernst Jandl satirically exposes the causes for the “unending cheers and shouts of ‘Sieg Heil!’” during Hitler’s ‘invasion of Austria’ in his experimental poem Vienna: Heldenplatz.
The first part of this analysis will put Austria’s euphoric reaction into an economic, political and cultural context. The second part will look at the artefacts in detail and demonstrate the importance of cultural artefacts for Austria’s cultural memory and identity.

Full Text:
file: Anschluss_History.pdf []
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file: Handout.pdf []
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Power Point Presentation:
file: Anschluss.ppt []
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