The coffee. Because he was in the Viennese coffee houses, from the middle of the 19th century. Century was served to hundreds of well-established, in so many mixing ratios in milk, it should be in the “manor” and, finally, even the waiter gave, the came with a painters color scale on the marble table. They left the guest from the 20 numbered shades of brown to choose.

Less in Vienna, the coffee house itself was. As the wind-catcher at the Eckeingang and the Seating spot, the Window box and the newspaper table, the mirror, the pool table, the coat rack, like leafless trees, the walls in the process from Yellow to brown. A fog of tobacco fumes, a climate of tolerance for the Lonely, the Loving, learning, air, watchers, chess players, headline devourer. For the many, the miserable bed chambers and Subleases fled, in a nut shell, mocha and a glass of water. Because you were here. And they came not only from Vienna, they were from Hungary and Poland, from Galicia and the Bukovina, from the big East moves.

Vienna, grew up to Fullscreen

In a town they had come, their population should double by 1910 within half a century, more than two million. In a city next to Berlin, London and Paris, a cultural center of Europe, but around the turn of the 20th century. Century liberalism sumptuous and intoxicating began to lose, also lovely decadent at the same time, ruled by a radical anti-Semitic party; and on the horizon the demise of the K. & k. monarchy.

the “Café Griensteidl” on the michaelerplatz, which was from the mid-1880s to a place where the Lite met rates. Even more: The “Griensteidl” was supposed to make the cell a compound of intellectuality and coffee house, the story. Here, and later in the “Café Central”, finally, in the “Herrenhof”, soon seemed to have on each chair a maturing genius poet to sit, a theatre critic, columnist, flanked by twelve-tone music, the Austro-Marxists, or at least a psychoanalyst. Behind each Journal has a wise head.

literati held court

Stefan Zweig was to be found in the “Griensteidl”, 1881, was born in Vienna, son of a Jewish textile trader, Translator, among others, the works of Baudelaire, author of “Schachnovelle”, is a specialist in tragedy, Drama, melancholy and Resignation. Pacifist. Before the Nazis, he fled and later to England, in 1942, he took in Brazil, the life. And Arthur Schnitzler, Jewish, he, too, was in the “Griensteidl”, Born in 1862, doctor, storyteller, playwright, author of the play “Reigen” and nearly 100 other short stories and plays. And Felix Salten was in the “Griensteidl”, the son of a Jewish engineer, and later with his story of “Bambi” to world fame getting, probably is also the secret author of the scandal of the novel about the prostitute “Josefine Mutzenbacher”, followers of Marx and Trotsky, came to play in the “Central” to the chess. And Karl Kraus, of course, 1874 was born in Bohemia, who was also the son of a Jewish factory owner, satirist, dramatist, and since 1899 editor of the legendary magazine “The torch”, a sharp judge of all the writing colleagues, Grand master of the German language, razor-sharp thinking, and later three times for the Nobel prize for literature nominated, and in 1936, of a heart attack taken. In a coffee house, two days later, dead.

And then the young star of Hugo von Hofmannsthal. As a student he had written under a Pseudonym, and as the called Prince of poets after him, he appeared with scanty upper-lip fluff and short boys ‘ pants in the “Griensteidl”, to introduce yourself. And to reap bewilderment whether its first 16 years. Schnitzler had the feeling that “for the first Time in my life, a born genius met.”


The art of seduction: Gustav Klimt’s Judith is bathed in Gold.


Kraus hämte that the “young Baron” would be a, “his Maniriertheit up on the Crusades back opened”. In fact, this Boy presume to judge Goethe’s patronizing, “very smart”. No matter: Early matured and tender and sad, he was the linchpin of a society of artists, the “sentient Self” cultivated. And thus a new aesthetic concept of interiority. Stefan Zweig, it was von Hofmannsthal, he wrote “is always several degrees higher than experienced”. And had compacted somewhat to the point, what was about the authors in the coffee houses also generally say: Because the retreat was what you a day a small Brown or a Melange gathered, this disgust for the outside world, identity crisis. And longing for the heat emitters, the like-minded, you liked stick me with a sharp pen. “The life of art became a surrogate for the Act”, later wrote of the culture of scientists Carl E. Schorske, especially the “Tone of feeling” would be a celebration of all the celebrities in the coffee house: a kind of narcissism, in which the adjectives are the main words.

The decline in the coffee house

expect “We want to take a farewell to the world before it breaks,” breathed von Hofmannsthal his Credo. And that they would collapse, suspected also felt Karl Kraus, the Austrian as a “laboratory of world destruction”. And Vienna as a city of “the zeros before the one”. So they gave you in the “Griensteidl” to the many zeros in the outside world.

But why say goodbye to the world? Were you not successful? They were it is quite. You, the robe of test heads of a multi-ethnic state, were before the turn of the 20th century. Century to the heroes of the upper middle class. The urban bourgeoisie, which had longed to penetrate the positions of power of the old nobility in the Austro – Hungarian Empire- and wanted to know in the Aesthetics of the arts, at least, a kind of substitute satisfaction. Order and beauty, as idealized by the young Poet von Hofmannsthal: against the noise of the new movements, in which, not least, a nationalism began to Shine, the was the from Poland, Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia, immigrant poets, strange. It is an ivory tower, the writers for your audience defended, but one was so large that more and more people of the word, wanted him to inhabit.

“Here impotence developed the most peculiar forces, the fruits of the infertility tires, and any non-ownership interest”, summed up another Protagonist of Viennese Modernism, Alfred Polgar, the essence of the coffee house company. Polgar, Born in 1873, child of assimilated Jews, the editor of the “Wiener Allgemeine Zeitung”, the Doyen of Austrian literature, had to later also the Nazis are on the run. And so sharp with his home settled (“I must be about this city a damning verdict: Vienna remains Vienna”), so mild he looked on the Happening or not happening in the coffee house. It load to the “disappear and Dissolve,” he wrote that it was an “asylum for people who need to kill time, and to be not beaten to death”. It was “the trusted stove of the trust stove is an abomination.” And futility is Holy to the stay.

to kill time? For some, the course may have been applied, especially for those who went as a writer in the coffee houses, but writer solely in coffee houses. To get Inspiration for the social studies, to write opportunity to literature, volatile notes for the pastime. Type Peter Altenberg, actually, Richard, Englishman, nor a son of a Jewish merchant, was born in 1859. He was one you loved, what even was Karl Kraus. Altenberg had from the medical profession’s inability, because of “Hypersensitivity of the nervous system” attest to, and sat since then, in the “Central” where the “Griensteidl”cast after its demolition in 1897, was changed. Altenberg had time, which was one of the conditions of this Viennese coffee house culture. He was a bum, lived in hours the hotel “London”, as a post address the “Central,” wrote the prostitutes poems; and the lyrics were titles such as “What is the day going for me”.

All wore the day people like Altenberg here; the people who wrote on how to Polgar, “want to be alone, but to society as a need”: The Feuilleton debates came through the Windscreen at the corner, the castle theatre reviews, the abusive relations, with Opera singers, or countesses, the new edition of the “torch”. To the coffee-house allowed the students to test send, the coffee house was the market and the market of the vanities-a place for productive solitude and silence at the end of life covenants with the seat of a cashier; it was the gym for quip-Boxer and friends of the mental Weitwurfs, workshop for the Learning of the thinking hand-drive, lost and found for people and ideas.

The Modern revolves around itself

In the coffee house made it the sharp-witted fun, to put your mind in elegant, centrifugal movements, always around himself; each table defines a belief, any belief to be brilliant at the next table. And all belief in it, the world outside just don’t see how it wrote a witness? This is perhaps a little too strictly. Because Schnitzler, von Hofmannsthal, industry and co. should after all, write the history of literature, were far more than the manufacturers of those anecdotes, which were later on of them in circulation. For example, that it “Professionals”, such as Polgar found, “which only in the ‘Central’ ‘t think of anything to anywhere are elsewhere far less”.

This and Elsewhere, the social democratic and labour party was since 1889. The Vienna of the artisans and proletarians, the Vienna of the new mass movements, the opposite of the coffee-house Intellectual, in spite of their friends at universities, and in Theatres and in the formation of the bourgeoisie but actually as a ineffective had to feel. Often unable to understand the machine age, the hate and the fear the new era, which began in the midst of the Pomps of the old monarchy and on the roads to flood. The civic sense of culture was weak, however, even if you had the better words to hide the.

What is the can be for a day that begins so that you have to get up?” With this low expectation is to have tormented, Anton cow out of bed, in 1890, into a Jewish family in Prague-born, Journalist, satirist, speaker of Tucholsky admired by Kraus hated. About his Childhood cow said: “My parents, I have prepared a one-Time joy: nine months before my birth.” And: “If a cow wants to be taken seriously, he needs to do so, as he would be a bull.” Cow, however, was more than an original self-observer. In Vienna, he described it as only a formerly cosmopolitan city, the former multi-ethnic state, he shrunk to the coffee houses, the beautiful hint of Paris and the Balkans, losing on the road in a “knödligbiedere a small town.” Still, the later had to flee, they chased after the Anschluss of Austria to Hitler’s Germany as a “cultural Bolsheviks” defamed and exiled.

Helpless before the beginning of mass society

However, the exile began before. A public living room of the retreating liberal spirit of the coffee house was found by chance in a time when the middle class and the Jewish population, which should grow up in 1938 to 200 000 heads (in 1945 there were 5000), of a reactionary petty-bourgeois policy of exclusion. From the “terrorism” of the Jews of mayor Karl Lueger in 1899 in front of the Christian social workers ‘ Association, under the vibrant “Bravo had said”Call the press and capital in “Jewish hands”, of a Jewish domination of the “moved finally to the body” should be.

to escape the “mob sports” anti-Semitism, as the Lueger even his own hatred later described, the engine is Sensitive to the island coffee house. Touching the “gem collector”, as Hugo von Hofmannsthal. Misanthropes such as Karl Kraus, who was disgusted in front of the “ink-out” in the Newspapers, “press Maffia” and the “press dog” despised and wrote: “No thoughts and Express him – it makes the journalists.”

daydreamer such as Altenberg, wrote always “quite freely, without concerns”, and: “I Never know my subject, I think.” And Cosmopolitans such as Stefan Zweig, fell in love with the idea of a United Europe. A nice idea imagined but, above all, of writers who came from well-appointed homes, from moving heads in a laboratory of visions, once so welcoming, gradually, but from the outside was shut. The key: in the hands of the powerful becoming bourgeois, the despised everything Jewish Vera.

artist or just artist? “A matter of honor” not ‘it was them to be all, Franz Werfel, author of the famous novel about the Armenian genocide later wrote, “useful'” to deny, therefore, the official policy of Vienna. Anton cow defined the author at the neighboring table as a “man who has time, in the coffee house thinking about what the other experience out there”. And Kraus said that a novel he could play in “and two neighbouring coffee-house rooms, and for a period of twenty years span.” The Plot? “The plot would consist of a coffee-house guest from a room to the other.” The “geturnten brains”, as described by an observer, the “Gedankenwälzen” the world in front of the door to conceal, should you confront the brutal with Austria’s history.


in 1876, opened the famous Café Central in Vienna.

©Wiki Commons

should Only follow the “Griensteidl”and “Central”group, yet another group of great writers: those that took place in the legendary “Café Herrenhof”; times narrow, through the city. Robert Musil, for example, created “The man without qualities” world literature, should be one of them. Joseph Roth, author of “job”, “Radetzky March”, “The Leviathan”. Egon Erwin Kisch, Heimito von Doderer, and many others, the major international fame gained.

the turn of the century and the First world war, ignored so, what had made the former metropolis of Vienna, this magnetic field for the world-spirit, to a fixed star, the novelists and the poets. In a “small world in which big keeps your sample,” as it is already in 1863 in Vienna, died on playwright Friedrich Hebbel formulated. Only she, the literary world of Vienna, for all its size, by its critical distance from daily politics with Hubris equipped, which you should make on the end of helpless.

“to Me Hitler is nothing,” wrote Karl Kraus, to think of the but otherwise all was something. Usually something very Smart.

once again, before Hitler came across it before a Hitler verehrendes people came to them, met in the “Herrenhof” those writers, “a life in search of himself and on the run”, as Alfred Polgar described it aptly. You said completely spiritualized, like Franz Werfel: “The first wealth is the poverty of needs.” You championed, but also as the 1886 Vienna-born writer Hermann Broch, a League of Nations Resolution for the defence of human rights. They swarmed once again, like Joseph Roth, a coffee-house as the place of the have more than any other “contributed to the intellectual mobility of the Austrian”. They praised the way into the Unknown, so how about Stefan Zweig: “Who sets the goals, and misses the chance.”

in The end, Hitler broke in the Refugium

you entered as the writer Hermann Bahr, described by his colleagues Salten, “in shepherd’s check trousers, a jacket of brown Velvet, and the cylinder” in your beloved coffee houses. Or, as the 1866 Vienna-born novelist Richard Beer-Hofmann each day with a different refined selected button hole flower in excessive nobility, so nobly, as he was for the Writing to be precious.

Oh, this wonderful coffee house!

“Certainly,” wrote the Vienna-born writer Otto Friedländer, would have felt the ancient philosopher Socrates. The Viennese coffee house is “perhaps the only place on earth where the dissolved, witty, imaginative, brooding, and has kept sharp-minded, cynical conversation at the longest alive”.

And then it was night. Brown Night. Who had the happiness of most of this story Referred to, made it through France, Spain, Portugal the USA. Or to England. Or died in a timely manner. Some astute thoughts flaneur of the Viennese thinker-scene but died in Auschwitz.

And with him also what would you name the famous Viennese coffee house culture died. Much later, and pretty lonely, sitting there in the “Braunerhof” still, almost every day the author and playwright Thomas Bernhard, the intellectual avenging angel, the Enfant terrible of the Austrian cultural establishment. In a “deliriere small state,” thought he.

In the “abscess of Europe”.

Peter-Matthias Gaede has traveled as a former editor-in-chief of “GEO” in the whole world. With Vienna, an intimate bond unites him, but for a Long time.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

  +  27  =  31