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Secret Vienna Blog

Archive: Mar 2018

Vienna and the Penicillin Racket

We recently told you about the film The Third Man, and the dramatic backdrop of post-war Vienna that serves as the location for the film. However, there is more to discover here, as the underlying story is apparently loosely based on historical fact: the post-war penicillin scandal. Amidst the post-war destruction, many goods were scarce,…

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March 5, 2018

Glimpses of Post-War Vienna

For some glimpses into post War Vienna, your SV explorer looked through the period articles covering the city in The New Yorker magazine. Most dispatches compare Vienna to Berlin. Vienna fares slightly better in all. The economic situation is dire in the first letter from February 1946. The black market is flourishing. Most looked after…

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March 4, 2018

The story of door numbers in Vienna

Walking around the city perhaps you have seen some house numberings that look a bit odd. Most likely because the numbers don’t come in the usual blue background with white numbers or perhaps because the numbers are higher than usual. These strange numbers, known as “Conscriptionsnummer”, date back to the time of Maria Theresa and…

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March 4, 2018

Dachlawinenwarnstangen and the Dangers of Viennese Winter

Now that winter is well and truly here, as you walk around town you may have noticed the appearance of red-and-white sticks attached to buildings and jutting out into sidewalks. They appear every year when it snows, and they have a name that only the German language could produce: Dachlawinenwarnstangen. This messy pile of nouns-…

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March 2, 2018

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