Twilight in Salzburg

Late afternoon twilight in Salzburg

The day was winding down, and we decided to just walk around the city some more, and explore the other side of the river Salzach which divides the city into two parts. (“Salzburg” means salt castle, and is named for being in essence a major tollbooth for the salt barges moving down the river.) We watched a fisherman on the river bank as the whole scene was bathed in brilliant blue light.

Once across the river, it was time for a break! Loved the craft beer here, but not the heavy cigarette smoke. The “working class” signage is not ironic – this is clearly a place for the local guys to meet and hang out. The local dialect was as thick as the smoke in the air, and some people were playing cards, and just generally chewing the fat.
12-30 Coffee and Booze for the Working Class Salzburg

We continued strolling along Linzergasse, one of the main streets on this side of the river, charming in the dusk as the lights were coming on.

Salzburg street with Stolperstein

Strolling along this street, I spotted another Stolperstein, this one in memory of “Elvira Posch,” who lived there before being deported to the death camps.
Salzburg Stolperstein on Linzergasse

As I was looking at it, a 30-something blond man asked me if I knew what it was and I said yes, and that it was sad. The cafĂ© there (where he either worked or was simply hanging out having a smoke) had been the home of a Jewish resident (all of whom were deported and murdered during the war). We talked about it briefly. Then he said, “It wasn’t just the Jews, you know” – as if that somehow made the history less damaging, or not anti-Semitic? I asked him if he was Jewish. He said in a shocked tone of voice, “Me!? No!” Here, too, the denial is thick, and anti-Semitism is vague but ubiquitous, like the cigarette smoke in the air.

Salzburg Stolperstein location on Linzergasse

I was heartened earlier by a plaque we saw on the clock tower at Mozartplatz just as we arrived – it is another call to remembrance:
12-30 Plaque to Holocaust victims on Salzburg tower

We ended the evening by crossing the bridge again and slowly making our way back to the train station, grateful for a beautiful day and a lot to ponder.
12-30 Salzburg riverbank twilight


About pcooperwhite

Christiane Brooks Johnson Professor of Psychology and Religion, Union Theological Seminary, New York NY
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