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Viewpoints . . . The man behind the Radetsky March

Dear Editor: As the saying goes, nothing is by Martin Ederer A Czech, Johann Josef Wenzel After Napoleon was finished,
RE: The dissolution of Club forever. As the times have Anton Franz Karl, Graf Radetzky Radetsky retired from public
Lorelei in Hamburg, NY changed, the passing of the torch A good number of Austrian von Radetz was born in Bohemia prominence as he tried to modern-
of ethnic recognition and celebra- anniversaries take place this in 1766. A nobleman, Radetsky ize and reform the Austrian Army.
Back in the 1950s and '60s, tion to the younger generations year. This is the centennial of Aus- joined the Austrian Army in 1785 His ideas could have made Aus-
before smart phones, video games has, by and large, proven futile. tria’s disintegration at the end of and became an officer the follow- tria’s armies the finest in the
and hundreds of choices on TVs as Consequently, Club Lorelei is no World War I in 1918. By the time ing year. His earliest action was in world, but his proposals generated
big as movie screens, Club Lorelei more. all the dust settled and peace trea- the Austro-Turkish War of 1787- little interest. Still, he managed to
was born. In a time when there was ties took effect, Austria-Hungary 1791 and also in the Austrian be promoted to Field Marshal in
a plethora of ethnic restaurants and However, we happily remem- shrunk from one of Europe’s larg- Netherlands from 1792-1795. 1836 at 70 years of age. The Rev-
clubs and a neighborhood bar on ber that this Club Lorelei did in- est monarchies into one of its tini- olutions of 1848 put him back into
every corner, folks of that genera- deed fulfill its purpose, far and est republics. 2018 also marks the What really advanced his ca- action (he was now 81) trying to
tion were truly interested in recog- above the expectations of its 80th anniversary of Hitler’s 1938 reer, though, were the Napoleonic put down Italian nationalist revolts
nizing and celebrating their founders. The building that has Anschluss, his annexation of Aus- Wars from c. 1799-1815, which in northern Italy, which had been
heritage. As well, social clubs, vet- housed Club Lorelei ever since its tria as a preemptive strike against included deployments on the ruled by Austria since the Con-
erans posts, churches and other or- original members built it with a plebiscite that might have Rhine, in France, in Italy, as well gress of Vienna. Here he success-
ganizations were thriving. Sadly their own hands, is alive with the brought his years of diplomatic as in Austria and the Empire. By fully ended revolts, winning
perhaps, no longer so. memories of countless happy oc- browbeating to naught. It also 1805 he had achieved rank of Ma- battles at Novara and Venice. He
casions. The Miss Lorelei pag- marked Hitler’s first actual take- jor General. was also Viceroy of Lombardy-
So too has Club Lorelei fallen eants, the German Days in the over of a sovereign state. Venetia, a position he held from
victim to this new reality. Founded park, New Year’s Eve parties, He eventually served as Felix 1848 to 1857.
in 1959 by a group of German hundreds of dinner dances, Anyhow, on a less ominous Schwarzenberg’s chief of staff
immigrants, the primary purpose of Wednesday morning work ses- front, 2018 also marks the 160th (there is also an Austrian march in Although his name should
the club was to provide a place sions and the smells of German anniversary of Johann Josef Schwarzenberg’s honor). But as have been a cussword to Italian
where recent arrivals from the "old cooking emanating from the Radetsky’s death, and the 170th most of us know, coalition after nationalists, even they had to con-
country" could gather to celebrate kitchen, these things will live on anniversary of Johann Strauss coalition could not defeat Napo- cede that he was both gentle and
and remember, to keep alive and in the hearts and memories of (father)’s Radetsky March dedicat- leon until 1814 – and still not yet generous with his enemies, a mag-
practice the things that bound them those who were fortunate enough ed to him. Along with Strauss’ definitively until Waterloo the fol- nanimity rare among conservative
together. The music, language, to have lived them. son’s Blue Danube, this march is lowing year. At the Congress of governments anywhere. In 1859
food and dress of their native Ger- one of Austria’s unofficial nation- Vienna Radetsky successfully kept the uneasy Austrian arrangements
many that Club Lorelei helped pre- The officers and members of al anthems… and, typical of most peace between Austrian and Rus- in northern Italy collapsed as Ital-
serve would provide them comfort Club Lorelei will be forever grate- Austrian military marches, it is sian delegations (the latter includ- ian nationalism gained ground.
as they transitioned into their new ful to those who have faithfully much more conducive to dancing ed the Czar himself) during a But by then Radetsky was dead,
American culture. The club found- supported their club and its func- than to military operations. It clos- difficult stretch of the negotia- having died in 1858 at the age of
ers successful endeavor accom- tions over the years. es the Vienna Philharmonic New tions. 91.
plished its primary purpose for Year’s Concert every year.
decades, far longer even than they Danke and auf wiedersehn. By that time, Radetsky had al-
had hoped. Jerry Klinck In the case of Radetsky, this is ready become a beloved figure
President, all fitting. Over his long military among the men under his com-
Club Lorelei, Inc. career, his conquests in the bou- mand and in the Austrian popular
doir were more numerous and imagination – and in some ways he
Dear Editor, almost 300 years. more memorable than those on the did epitomize the Austrian spirit of
The great military historian The Austrian Imperial Army battlefield. He fathered eight chil- the Biedermeier Era: live and let
(British) John Keegan felt that the dren with his lovely Slovenian live, love well and often, and don’t
most important book that remained drove the Turks back from the wife, Countess Francesca von get hung up on nationality: A
unwritten was a history of the Aus- gates of Vienna, helped defeat Na- Strassoldo Grafenberg – and eight Czech with a Slovenian wife and
trian Army. Was the Habsburg poleon and fought on five fronts in more children with his Italian mis- an Italian lover who gained the
Army cowardly, incompetent, inef- World War I. tress. grudging respect of his Italian ene-
fective, cruel and unreliable as mies became a legendary Austrian
many believe? The book is full of colorful Have a question, comment, hero.
Well, Richard Bassett has writ- characters and forgotten incidents or concern about the Upstate
ten a new book (2016) “For God like der Hubsche Waldhutter – the New York German communi-
and Kaiser” The Imperial Austrian Handsome Waldhutter, a lieuten- ty? Contact us at mail@the
Army from 1619 to 1918, Yale ant who helped hold the fortress of germancitizen.com
University Press, 591 pages, avail- “Schweideitz” against Fredrick
able in hard and soft cover with the Great for 63 days, or how an February-March Since 1970 the Buffalo Standard
some illustrations of Austrian uni- Austrian officer saved the life of April-May Printing Booster Club has raised funds
forms. Napolean from his own people on June-July to support our family of publications.
I picked up a copy for $14.95 his trip to Elba.
from ER Hamilton Booksellers. I, Oktoberfest Guide These funds have been used to off-set some of the
like Mr. Keegan have felt this book The book is well researched August-September publication costs, increases in postage, and affords
is long overdue. It also shatters a and heavily footnoted. In spite of October-November the ability to secure the best writers in Western New
lot of myths and long held miscon- this it’s easy to read. Its only December-January York. The German Citizen is published to serve the
ceptions about the Austrian Impe- shortcoming is the illustrations are German-Americans of Upstate New York. Donors to
rial Army 1619-1918. black and white and the maps are Published by the Press Fund will be thanked in the last issue of the
Mr. Bassett has written a very small. Buffalo Standard Printing year, unless otherwise instructed by the donor.
informative and interesting history
of a multicultural army that lasted A must have for anyone who is 3620 Harlem Rd. MAIL TO: Buffalo Standard Printing Press Fund
interested in military history or the Cheektowaga, NY 14215 3620 Harlem Road, Cheektowaga, NY 14215
history of Central Europe. I want to make sure the German Citizen continues its service
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Yours truly, mail@thegermancitizen.com To the German-American Community.
John Pauly, Enclosed is my contribution of $ _____
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