1st September 1942, evening
Vienna before 1918—and after.
After 1918 the average Viennese found himself reduced to extreme poverty. But before the war it was wonderful; never shall I forget the gracious spectacle of the Vienna Opera, the women sparkling with diadems and fine clothes. In 1922 I was again at the Opera—and what a difference! In the places of the cultured society of old there now sat the Jewish riffraff; the women stretched out their hands to show off their jewellery—a heart-rending sight! I never once saw the Imperial box occupied. I suppose the Emperor Franz Josef was not musical. I am an implacable enemy of the Habsburgs, but the sight of this mob sprawling to the very edge of the Imperial box was disgusting and repulsive, and it angered me immensely.
I returned to Vienna quite recently. This repellent mob has now disappeared, but Vienna is an impoverished city. In the old days it was quite a sight to see the handsome carriages bowling along the roads, which were for the most part paved with wood. The relations between master and man in old Vienna were charming in the mutual loyalty and affection which characterised them.
There is only one town in Germany, Munich, in which social differences were so little marked. I can blame no Viennese for looking back with sad longing to the Vienna of old; my younger sister is filled with this nostalgia.
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