Free Again! Liberation and Sovereignty: Austria, 1945–1955

Wednesday, May 4, 2005
STANFORD

The extraordinary period of rebirth in Europe following World War II is captured in an exhibit on display at the Herbert Hoover Memorial Exhibit Pavilion. The exhibit features the work of Erich Lessing, an eminent Austrian photographer who documented everyday life and politics in postwar Europe. His work has been published in LIFE, Paris Match, Picture Post, and Quick Magazine. Other works in the exhibit include posters from the Hoover Library and Archives and the Austrian National Library. (See http://www.hoover.org/hila/pavilionexhibit.htm for examples of the photographs and posters.)

Also, as part of the exhibit, the classic film noir thriller The Third Man (1949) will be shown from May 3 until May 21 at 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. Directed by Carol Reed, with a stellar cast led by Orson Welles and Joseph Cotten, this haunting movie set in post–World War II Vienna masterfully evokes the atmosphere of the occupied capital during that troubled time and portrays—through stunning photography—such memorable landmarks as the Wienkanal, the tunnel through which the Wien River makes its way through central Vienna to join the Danube.

The exhibit opens to the public May 3 and goes through August 20. The Herbert Hoover Memorial Exhibit Pavilion at the Hoover Institution on the Stanford University campus is open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. through 4 p.m. For additional information, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives, 650/723-3563, or www.hoover.org/hila. Group tours are available.

The Hoover Library and Archives and the Austrian National Library organized the exhibit to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Austria's State Treaty and regained sovereignty. In conjunction with the exhibit the Hoover Institution and the Austrian consulate general in Los Angeles hosted a conference at Hoover entitled "Political Neutrality in Europe: Austria, Switzerland, and Sweden" on May 2.

The following presentations were made by Hoover fellows and guest speakers:

"From Occupation to State Treaty: The Origins of Austrian Neutrality" by Hoover senior fellow Norman Naimark; "Austrian Neutrality: The Status Quo" by Martin Weiss, Austrian consul general in Los Angeles; "What's Wrong with Swiss Neutrality?" by Hoover visiting fellow Hans Halbheer, CBE and member, Advisory Council, Swiss American Foundation; "Sweden: From Neutrality to Military Nonalignment" by Tomas Rosander, Swedish consul general in Los Angeles; "Still a Powder Keg: The European South East" by Erhard Busek, special coordinator, Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe; and "Friedrich Von Hayek's Efforts to Rejuvenate Austrian Economics, 1945–1955" by Hoover research fellow Kurt Leube.