An Apogee of Conversions: Gustav Mahler, Karl Kraus, and <i>fin de siècle</i> Vienna ⋆

in From Vienna to Chicago and Back

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2007 | ISBN: 9780226776361
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226776385 | DOI:
An Apogee of Conversions: Gustav Mahler, Karl Kraus, and fin de siècle Vienna ⋆

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This chapter discusses Vienna's fin de siècle. The most famous of Vienna's fin de siècle converts was probably Gustav Mahler. Mahler's conversion to Catholicism was closely linked with his energetically pursued efforts to attain the direction of the Vienna Imperial Opera, the “Hofoper.” His religiosity remained undogmatic. Karl Kraus would remain “konfessionslos” before receiving Catholic baptism on 8 April 1911. Die Fackel recommended turning to Christianity. It is shown that both Mahler and Kraus were in favor of “Mischehen” or mixed marriages, of the connubium between persons of Jewish and non-Jewish origin. Vienna in the course of the later nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was a city with a high incidence of marriages—most of them “Christian-Christian” marriages—of persons of Jewish origin and persons on non-Jewish origin. There is a “lieu de mémoire” in Vienna, where the problems discussed in this chapter have found a most poignant expression.

Keywords: fin de siècle; Vienna; Gustav Mahler; Catholicism; Karl Kraus; Catholic baptism; mixed marriages

Chapter.  10997 words. 

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