The top 25 Vienna Legends, Myths and Rumours: #7 / Fin de Siècle Squatters


Once upon a time, the aged Emperor of k. & k. Austria-Hungary, Franz-Joseph I, decided to date leaders of the Social Democrat’s party for the first time after he had read an article in their central organ, the Arbeiter-Zeitung, about a squat in the capital. In a riot, revolutionary Social Democrats had occupied the President’s dais in a symbolic act by rapidly jumping over some banquettes.

He asked his minister: “Tell me, are these Social Democrat only young people, so fit to jump over those banquettes that easy?” – “No, Mylord”, the minister replied, “even old Social Democrats do jump over banquettes easily.” Astonished for just a moment, the Emperor ordered a civil servant to contact their leader Viktor Adler to send an envoy immediatly to proof the telling of his minister.

Source: Bruno Kreisky, Zwischen den Zeiten. Erinnerungen aus fünf Jahrzehnten (Autobiography), p.29

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