The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Digital Edition > My Day
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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VIENNA, Austria—I forgot to mention that yesterday afternoon we drove out to the biggest park of the city, the Prater, which has an element of Coney Island about it. From the Ferris wheels and the little booths with the people calling to you outside, it reminded one of a country fair!

In the evening we went out to a Heuriger restaurant a little way out of town that gave us an excellent dinner and provided us with some very delightful singing, accompanied by two string instruments and an accordion. They sang all the old Viennese songs and we enjoyed every minute of our evening.

I started Thursday morning by going to the Embassy to meet the entire staff. I enjoyed that very much and afterwards I went for a shopping trip.

We lunched out of doors at the Sacher hotel and then spent an hour at the museum enjoying the Brueghels. These remarkable paintings require time really to appreciate them. Each time you come back to a picture you find that you see some detail which you did not note before. We saw one Durer, too, which I had never seen before in which the detail is remarkable though the subject is quite horrible. I would have liked to spend more time in the museum.

From there I went to see the mother and father of a friend of mine in the U.S. who came over in the early days of the last war. She now is married to an American but, as I knew her parents lived here, I promised to see them. It is extraordinary to see people who have gone through so much and who still can remain calm and interested in life. Their second daughter is with them here and she told me it was very difficult for a woman in any profession to advance in Austria. The jobs are scarce and the men get the jobs.

Later at tea when I was talking to Mr. Figl, the former vice chancellor, I told him this story and asked him what the reason was and he said, "We have four hundred thousand refugees in Austria and a very limited amount of work. The men have families and it is quite true that for the young women it is very difficult to get any recognition or advancement." The reasons are easy to understand but nevertheless it is unfortunate because if there is a possibility of leaving their country, these young women will leave in the hopes of getting a better opportunity elsewhere.

I enjoyed having Mrs. Figl also and Dr. and Mrs. Schaerf for tea and I am only sorry that my time here is so short I have not had time to see more of the people of Vienna.

This last night in Vienna we dined on the top of the Schafberg. It was a very pleasant terrace overlooking the whole city of Vienna where the evening lights were turned on and the full moon presided over us. What a beautiful end for our short visit to this charming city!


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Vienna (Austria) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, August 3, 1953

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project

Available under licence from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

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MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

TEI-P5 edition published on April 28, 2017.

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.