Most recent

One man’s quest to save Vienna

How the writer Karl Kraus relentlessly exposed the failings in the Austrian capital
The Austrian satirist Karl Kraus made it his mission to hold a mirror to the shortcomings of Viennese society for four decades in the early 20th century. He was desperately trying to warn, educate and enlighten his fellow citizens but often expressed his alarm through biting satire: he would find a piece of poor reporting, sloppy language use or human folly in the periodicals of the time and then took it apart through acerbic comments. Forum presenter Rajan Datar introduces Kraus’s work.

Photo: Detail from a 1914 poster for a lecture by Karl Kraus. (Imagno/Getty Images)

1918: Vienna and the Fall of an Empire

Francine Stock examines the cultural life of Vienna in 1918.
Francine Stock travels to Vienna to examine the rich cultural and artistic life of the city in the final days of the Hapsburg Empire. 

In November 1918 the vast Austro-Hungarian Empire was lost overnight. The removal of the dual monarchy from the European map left the imperial capital of Vienna and its staggeringly well equipped civil service with no empire to run. Vienna had fallen from grace and with it, decades of rich artistic life were lost.

And yet right up until the Empire's last days, Vienna had continued to be a cultural hub at the heart of European modernism. Despite food shortages and the hardships of war, the Viennese continued to frequent cinemas, salons and cafes. Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka continued to paint and exhibit their work internationally, Franz Schreker composed one of his most popular operas, while writers Karl Kraus and Stefan Zweig documented everyday life.  

Producer: Sarah Shebbeare
Production Coordinator: Anne Smith
Turning bread into beer to fight food waste
This Vienna food shop is tackling food waste by turning inedible leftovers into something drinkable.
Cigarette in an ashtray

Bethany Bell

BBC News, Vienna

Medical experts are urging the government to reconsider plans to introduce a smoking ban, writes the BBC's Bethany Bell in Vienna.

Read more