Emigration still fashionable

Although the number of Austrians willing to emigrate to South American countries considerably decreased after the Great War, the topic still seemed quite marketable in 1925.

Like Ross, Alice Schalek (1874–1956), a prominent Austrian journalist and photographer, regularly delivered lectures at the popular education institute Urania, whose big hall had a capacity of c. 500 seats.1 While Schalek began reporting on her exotic journeys earlier than Ross, her fame, just as Ross’s, was primarily based on her war reports, which had been widely published in German-language newspapers. She was one of the very few female journalists commissioned by the Kriegspressequartier, the central wartime propaganda organ of the Habsburg Monarchy, whose instructions and propagandistic aims she followed opportunistically.2 Her ethnographically oriented prewar and postwar journeys were complemented by trips to gather information about the practical dimensions of emigration. An example is the referenced Urania lecture, illustrated with 170 color photos. As Schalek’s self-authored announcement suggests, there still was a considerable need for reliable, practical information on emigration,3 a pivotal aspect in Ross’s writings and lectures, too (see Serving Vienna’s workers instead of the Auslandsdeutsche (Germans abroad) and “Rather contra than pro”). The great demand by potential Auslandsösterreicher for such ‘guide lectures’ seemed to be constant. Ross’s introduction to the conditions in South America, for example, was taken up again in 1923 by Karl Rethey, a proxy speaker at Urania.

Katalin Teller

[Announcement] Alice Schalek. Südamerika als Einwanderungsland. Verlautbarungen des Volksbildungshauses Wiener Urania. 1925 Oct 31: (37); 4

Topic: Auslandsdeutsche
Case: Speaking engagements


1 See Wilhelm Petrasch. Die Wiener Urania. Von den Wurzeln der Erwachsenenbildung zum lebenslangen Lernen. Wien; Köln; Weimar: Böhlau; 2007; 48-49, (http://austria-forum.org/web-books/diewienerurania00de2007kfu/ev00001).

See Bernhard Bachinger. Alice Schalek. Standpunkte einer Kriegsberichterstatterin im Ersten Weltkrieg. In: Sema Colpan et al., editors. Kulturmanöver. Das k.u.k. Kriegspressequartiert und die Mobilisierung von Wort und Bild. Frankfurt am Main et al.: Peter Lang; 2015; 65-77.

See, for instance, Katharina Manojlovic. Strolling through India: The Austrian Photographer and Journalist Alice Schalek. Austrian Studies. 2012; Vol. 20; 193-205.

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