Originally published 07/28/2013
VIENNA (AP) — Like many others in Austria's countryside, a tower bell above the red-tiled rooftops of Wolfpassing village marks the passing of each hour with an unspectacular "bong." But this bell is unique: It is embossed with a swastika and praise to Adolf Hitler.And unlike more visible remnants of the Nazi era, the bell was apparently overlooked by official Austria up to now.Ensconced in the belfry of an ancient castle where it was mounted by fans of the Nazi dictator in 1939, the bell has tolled on for nearly 80 years. It survived the defeat of Hitler's Germany, a decade of post-war Soviet occupation that saw Red Army soldiers lodge in the castle and more recent efforts by Austria's government to acknowledge the country's complicity in crimes of that era and make amends....
Originally published 06/11/2013
Ötzi the Iceman, Europe's oldest mummy, likely suffered a head injury before he died roughly 5,300 years ago, according to a new protein analysis of his brain tissue.Ever since a pair of hikers stumbled upon his astonishingly well-preserved frozen body in the Alps in 1991, Ötzi has become one of the most-studied ancient human specimens. His face, last meal, clothing and genome have been reconstructed — all contributing to a picture of Ötzi as a 45-year-old, hide-wearing, tattooed agriculturalist who was a native of Central Europe and suffered from heart disease, joint pain, tooth decay and probably Lyme disease before he died.None of those conditions, however, directly led to his demise. A wound reveals Ötzi was hit in the shoulder with a deadly artery-piercing arrow, and an undigested meal in the Iceman's stomach suggests he was ambushed, researchers say....
Originally published 03/20/2013
Forty percent of Austrians believe things were not all bad under Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, according to a poll released Friday by the Market Institute for the Der Standard newspaper. Researchers sampled 502 subjects throughout the country, of varying ages.They found a rise in the number of respondents – 61 percent this time around, mostly elderly Austrians – who favored the idea of a “strong leader who does not have to worry about a parliament or elections” as a leader. The statistic was three times higher than that seen in 2008, 20 percent at the time, the paper reported.Of those surveyed, 42 percent said “not everything was bad under Hitler,” while 57 percent said they saw “no good aspects” to the Nazi era....
Originally published 03/20/2013
The birth towns of Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler are divided on the issue of how to deal with the legacy of the dictators who slaughtered millions.In some ways it would be hard to imagine two more different places than Gori in Georgia and Braunau am Inn in Austria.Gori, with its crumbling Soviet-era apartment blocks, is set in the foothills of the Caucasus mountains.You can still see scars from the 2008 war between Georgia and Russia, when Russian troops entered the town.It is poor. Even in winter, pensioners try to earn a few pennies, helping cars to park.Braunau, by contrast, is a comfortable little Austrian town, with a beautifully preserved medieval centre.Cross the bridge over the Inn river, close to the main square, and you find yourself in Germany, in Bavaria - one of the wealthiest parts of Europe....
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