Poverty & propaganda in wartime Vienna

The depressive mood and difficult living conditions during World War One are captured by a new exhibition.wien2

“Wien im Ersten Weltkrieg. Stadtalltag in Fotografie und Grafik” (World War I in Vienna. City Life in Photography and Graphic Art), now on display at the Wien Museum (www.wienmuseum.at) in the city centre of Vienna, features hundreds of photographs taken in the Austrian capital between 1914 and 1918. Visitors of the exhibit learn more about the hardship and hunger of the city’s inhabitants in the First World War.

University auditoriums and other rooms and buildings were transformed into hospitals. Still, medics were hardly able to cope with the large number of seriously wounded soldiers being transported from the frontlines to the capital for treatment.

Propaganda posters appealing on citizens to purchase war bonds are also on display. In another section of the exhibit, curators inform why officials decided to restart theatre and wien3operetta performances across Vienna. Photos show how women were ordered to take on jobs instead of being housewives to replace postmen and tram ticket collectors as all fit men were drafted.

“Wien im Ersten Weltkrieg” is comprehensive and truly touching. The exhibition is more than just an addition to the many other World War One exhibits and books of 2014.

::: The Austrian Culture Channel on Twitter: @accthomas

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