Krakow, 16 March 2010 Press release

In the footsteps of Alexander Lernet-Holenia in Poland

Exhibition on the literary works of Lernet-Holenia at the Consulate General and the Cultural Forum in Krakow

Krakow, 16 March 2010 – The famous Austrian writer Alexander Lernet-Holenia will be honoured these days with a comprehensive exhibition at the Austrian Consulate General and the Cultural Forum in Krakow.Yesterday’s opening was attended by the grandnephew and sole heir of the author, Mr. Alexander Dreihann-Holenia, and by two Lernet-Holenia experts, university professors Dr. Krzysztof Lipinski, counsellor of the International Alexander Lernet-Holenia Society, and Dr. Ryszard Spodzieja of the Institute for German Studies at the University of Wroclaw.

In his welcome speech, Consulate General Christophe Ceska noted that Lernet-Holenia’s most famous political book „Mars in Aries“ is acknowledged in literary circles as an Austrian resistance novel. In this book, Lernet-Holenia, who himself served as an officer, gives account of his experiences in World War II.

Due to his detailed description of the planned attack on Poland, the brave Polish resistance, and its mention of Austrian resistance fighters, the novel was banned by the Nazis even before it was distributed. Alexander Lernet-Holenia also deals with Poland in other of his works, for instance in the successfully filmed novel „A young gentleman in Poland“. 

Using photos and original, personal manuscripts, the mobile documentary exhibition illustrates the contemporary historical and family background of the author, his service as a young cadet in the Ninth Dragoon Regiment, his first and successful literary productions, and his life during and after World War II between Vienna, Berlin, and St. Wolfgang in the Salzkammergut, where he became a symbolic figure of the literary “reconstruction” and, subsequently a dominating personality in the German-speaking cultural scene.

The documentary exhibition will be on display until 15 April in Krakow, and will then travel on to the Austrian Libraries in Opole in Silesia, and Wroclaw in Lower Silesia.

Contact for enquiries:
Bundesministerium für europäische
und internationale Angelegenheiten
Tel.: + 43 (0) 50 1150-3262, 4549, 4550
Fax: + 43 (0) 50 1159-213