|Prepare for boarding!|
Trump, but as we sailed down the Danube one sunny afternoon on our way to Linz, Austria, my luck ran out. We were sat with a couple from Minnesota when the guy opened with: “I hadn’t realized that Hitler was initially elected to power with less than a majority.” It was a prescient comment; Hitler had grown up in Linz. The comparisons continued: exploiting nationalism with ‘we’ll be great again’; demonizing minorities, even inciting attacks on them; dismissing science; and discrediting the free press as fake, in order to legitimize his own desired view of reality. We agreed that the legitimate press needed our support and vowed to subscribe to the New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Guardian.
|Plague Column & Dom|
“Well, maybe you should?” I said. I’d failed his test – the conversation ended there.
Many years after Hitler, Adolf Eichmann, the Architect of the Holocaust, also spent his youth in Linz. I came of age over the course of the Eichmann Trial in 1961 as images and accounts of ghettos, train journeys, and death camps were seared into my brain by the British newspapers for the months that it took – images that are still there. To its credit, Linz became one of the most active cities in eradicating the signs of Nazism from its streets and commemorating those that had opposed it.
|2 Men & an Elephant|
The square features a stucco moulding of two naked men and an elephant, surrounding a window. Apparently, Maximilian II, before he was crowned Holy Roman Emperor, visited Linz in 1552, bringing with him exotic beasts including an Indian elephant. No word on where the two guys came from…
As we walked along the path from Martinskirche we discovered the statue of Johannes Kepler, a founder of modern science and a resident of Linz when he published his famous work on planetary motion. But, it was the 17th Century, his science was dismissed, the Lutherans excommunicated him, and his mother was tried as a witch, likely as a result of his views. And now, in the 21st Century, we can only wait for the witch trials to begin again.
|The Climb to Martinskirche|