Yesterday was a very productive and enjoyable day. The Leo Luster fllm, the lecture by Hannah Lessing, and the presentation on ephimeral films were all inspiring. I will try to bring Mr Luster to our school, and I am thinking about having some of my students work with the website of the Ephimeral Film Project: National Socialism in Austria. I very much enjoyed the shabbat service, which was quite different from what I am used to in Israel. I particularly loved the singing, several of the melodies were unknown to me.
The Belvedere museum, which we visited in the morning, is really beautiful. As much as I liked The Kiss and Death and the Maiden, though, while wandering around the halls of the museum I found some paintings (by Klimt and others) that fascinated me much more. I particularly liked Klimt's portrait (or is it a still life? :-)) of an old man on his death bed, his landscape paintings (next to a wonderful painting by Monet; two of Klimt's paintings reminded me of Van Gogh), and the famous portrait of Napoleon Bonaparte by Jacques-Louis David.
I found out one thing that I had not realized before: the state of Austria as we know it today came into being seven years (to the day) AFTER the state of Israel came into being. I took two pictures, one of a tile in the floor and the other of the ceiling, in the hall where the Austrian State Treaty was signed. The text on the tile says: The State Treaty on which Austria's freedom and independence is (ist, should be sind, 'are', but now I am just being a nudnik) based, was signed in this hall on 15 May 1955 by the Foreign Ministers of the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America, France, and Austria.
I wish us all a bon voyage to Zagreb, and from there to Sarajevo.