• Austria's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Six Austrians you should really know about
Photo: Wikimedia

Six Austrians you should really know about

The Local · 18 Mar 2016, 14:11

Published: 18 Mar 2016 14:11 GMT+01:00

Did we miss anyone important? Let us know.

Bertha von Suttner (1843-1914)
A pioneer of Austria’s peace movement, von Suttner was the first woman ever to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, which she received in 1905. Having frequently corresponded with Alfred Nobel, who founded the awards, she is actually thought to be responsible for convincing him to include a peace prize in the first place. Born into an aristocratic family in Prague in what was then the Austro-Hungarian empire, von Suttner’s life experienced ups and downs but she eventually found her passion in journalism and peace studies. This led to her writing numerous articles about pacifism including the much acclaimed novel ‘Die Waffen nieder!’, published in 1889, and taking part in first Hague Conventions a decade later.


Photo: Wikimedia

Viktor Frankl (1905-1997)
Everyone has heard of Freud but not quite as many will have heard of Viktor Frankl. A Viennese-born neurologist and psychiatrist, he broke away from the introspective Freudian approach and instead theorised that the most powerful force driving humans is the desire to finding meaning in life. This became known as the Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy, or logotherapy. What makes this even more remarkable is the tragedy faced by Frankl in his own life. Although he had the opportunity to escape the Nazis after receiving a visa for the US, Frankl chose to stay with his parents and pregnant wife. All of them apart from Viktor died in concentration camps. Despite this tragedy, Frankl managed to write a thesis on the importance of finding meaning in life while imprisoned, using scraps of paper he found in the camp. His book Man’s Search for Meaning is well worth a read.


Photo: Wikimedia

Leopold Von Sacher Masoch (1836-1895)
In his time, von Sacher Masoch was a writer, historian, and a progressive women’s rights campaigner. Today, however, his name is associated with one thing: Masochism. Having started off life as a historian at Graz University, von Sacher Masoch's obsession with fetishism and female domination began to emerge in his writing, in particular his collection of short stories Legacy of Cain. His ‘Venus in Furs’ is the most famous of these today, which explores the author’s own masochistic desires - although he didn’t call them as such - as well as his weakness for women wearing furs. These desires later became a reality when he got his mistress to sign a contract stipulating she was to treat him like a slave and wear furs as often as possible. The term ‘masochism’ was first used in 1886 by the Austrian psychiatrist Richard Freiherr von Krafft-Ebing to describe the sexual desires von Sacher Masoch wrote about.


Leo (right) with his mistress. Photo: Wikimedia

Lise Meitner (1878-1968)
As a physicist who helped to discover nuclear fission, many in the scientific community today believe Vienna-born Lise Meitner was wrongly excluded from the Nobel Prize for Chemistry awarded for the discovery. It was given instead to her colleague Otto Hahn, although Meitner’s understanding of how uranium fission originates and produces energy was fundamental to the work. Like many nuclear fission scientists, she was horrified that discoveries they made in the first half of the 20th Century led to the creation of the atomic bomb and refused herself to work on projects related to weapons. She also overcame sexist barriers to female scientists in that era, becoming the first female full professor of physics in Germany, although she later lost her position at Berlin’s Kaiser Wilhelm Institute when the Nazi anti-Jewish laws were introduced.

Konrad Lorenz (1903-1989)
Often referred to as the ‘father of ethology’, Nobel Prize winner Lorenz carried out some of the most pioneering work on animal behaviour. An animal-lover since he was a child, he believed that animals processed emotions in a similar way to humans and preferred to study them in their natural habitats rather than in laboratories, which was the more popular method among scientists at the time. His most important work was arguably on imprinting and the idea that animals attach instinctively to what or whomever they see in the first moments of life (a concept seen on the big screen in the film ‘Fly Away Home’). Having joined the Nazi party, he later regretted his membership and presenting his work in the context of the party’s ideology. Today his methods and theories form the basis for many scientific studies into animal behaviour, including at the three Konrad Lorenz Institutes in Austria.


Konrad (right) with his colleague and fellow Nobel Prize winner Nikolaas Tinbergen. Photo: Max Planck Society.

Story continues below…

Carl Szokoll (1915-2004)
Known as the ‘Saviour of Vienna’, Szokoll played a key role in the Austrian resistance movement against the Nazis. Born in Vienna in 1915, he became a soldier in German army but joined the resistance movement against the Nazis, including being involved in the assassination attempt on Hitler in 1944. After being told by resistance colleagues that Hitler had been killed, he began rounding up Nazi SS troops in Vienna but soon received a phone call telling him the plot had failed. Incredibly, he convinced the army that he had just been following orders and was not executed. He went on to help protect Vienna from being devastated by the approaching Soviets by telling them the city would welcome them. Although fellow conspirators were caught and executed, he made it to Soviet lines and went on to organise the resistance from there. After the war, he had a career in the film industry and wrote an autobiography before dying in 2004.


Photo:www.doew.at

 

For more news from Austria, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
'Sensational' mammoth tusks found in Vienna
Naturhistorisches Museum

Experts in Austria have excavated two giant mammoth tusks thought to be over a million years old under roadworks just north of Vienna.

Drug offences highest in Austria for a decade
LPD Wien

Austria saw a boom in drug offences last year with narcotics worth around €28 million seized by authorities.

Austrian commits robbery so he can 'start over' in prison
LPD Wien

An Austrian who robbed a fast food restaurant in Vienna told police he did it because he wanted to be jailed so he could have fresh start.

Expert predicts far-right to win Austrian election
Photo: Facebook/Norbert Hofer

Around 15% of Austrian swing voters are still undecided about who they will support in the presidential election re-run, although one expert predicts the far-right candidate will win.

Technical glitch causes chaos in Vienna airport
Photo: Twitter/Judith BK

Nearly 1,000 airline passengers were left stranded last night after a glitch in the IT system at Vienna airport caused huge delays to flights.

Cops nab accomplice in Austrian ‎€50m caper
Disgraced CEO Walter Stephan. Photo: Facebook/FACC

Police in Hong Kong have arrested an alleged accomplice who is believed to be involved in the scam which cost an Austrian aerospace company over 42 million euros.

A taste of Michelangelo in the heart of Vienna
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

Why go to Rome when the art of the Sistine Chapel can come to you in Vienna? Check out the new exhibition of Michelangelo's timeless frescos at the Votivkirche.

Over 50 cats go missing in Austrian town
Photo: Creative Commons/Pablo Viojo

Animal rescue services suspect there could be a serial cat-napper at work in the Austrian town of Frauenkirchen after more than fifty cats disappear in the region in under two years.

Austrian minister describes Merkel as 'irresponsible'
Photo: Defence Ministry

Austria’s Defence Minister has criticised the German Chancellor’s handling of the refugee crisis last year, accusing her of irresponsibility.

Beach party protest against burqini ban planned in Vienna
Woman wearing "burqini" swimwear in Egypt. Photo: Giorgio Montersino/Wikipedia

Vienna is to join London and Berlin in protesting against the introduction of a burqini ban on beaches in 30 seaside towns in France.

Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
Beware these passport scams
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
National
Of course we skipped Oarsch
National
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Travel & Tourism
Yodel-ei-ei-eee--oh
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Lifestyle
10 years after her escape from captivity
Politics
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
National
Another 10 million Euros for fresh elections
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Gallery
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Society
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Gallery
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
It's gonna be hot... here's how to cope
National
Europe's ice cream capital
Travel
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
National
How to make friends in Austria
National
Don't hesitate - break the window
Sport
Ready to watch some football? Here's how!
National
Cake rules
Politics
Austria's choice for a new president
Politics
Profile on Norbert Hofer, Freedom Party Presidential Candidate
Politics
Austrian politics explained. TL;DR: worry not.
Features
Refugees need practical help
2,536
jobs available