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Opel Victoria Blitz "semi-racing" bicycle ridden by Theodor Herzl

1893/1896

Jewish Museum Vienna

Jewish Museum Vienna
Vienna, Austria

The third community, which was brutally destroyed in 1938, is still regarded today as the epitome of Jewish Vienna. Herzl, Freud, Mahler, Schnitzler, and many more influenced Viennese life at the turn of the century. This idealistic regard conceals the fact that anti-Semitism was also rampant and was in no way “imported” in 1938. Theodor Herzl is a good illustration of the contradictions of the time. In 1896 he formulated two visions, which could not have been more dissimilar. In a feature article he enthused about cycling in Vienna, which for him was a symbol of progress and freedom. His optimism gives no indication that at the same time he was also questioning the idea of Vienna as a place to call home. His world-famous visionary book "The Jewish State" had appeared a few months earlier. Zionism was his answer to the oppressive anti- Semitism of the turn of the century in Vienna and Europe. The exhibition shows Herzl’s bicycle, modern for the time, which he used during his summer vacations in Altaussee. He had been introduced to cycling by Arthur Schnitzler, whose novel „The Road into the Open“ describes not only the cycling boom in Vienna but also the unbearable anti-Semitism of the turn of the century.

Details

  • Title: Opel Victoria Blitz "semi-racing" bicycle ridden by Theodor Herzl
  • Date Created: 1893/1896
  • Location Created: Rüsselsheim
  • Rights: Literaturmuseum Altaussee

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