In my 9/11 post earlier today, I asked (rhetorically) how long this day is likely to be commemorated:
…Our annual observations and commemorations will ring with the names of those who died, families will continue to grieve as long as there are kin left to remember the loss. How long will that be, do you think? Some tragedies are never forgotten, yet others fade. This one brought in its wake a great economic loss and a turning of our public discourse into two polarized camps. So 9/11 may be one of those not soon abandoned.
With that in mind as I looked around the web at what others were saying, I happened upon the commentary at Legal Insurrection where Professor Jacobson had some choice words for the shameless Krugman (yes, that Krugman, the New York Times’ hapless ‘economist’) and his reflections on the “oddly subdued” 9/11 commemorations. The Professor notes:
It doesn’t matter what the facts are, it’s Krugman’s world view in which conservatives and Republican always are the culprits, which is the problem. Tellingly, the last sentence in Krugman’s post is “I’m not going to allow comments on this post, for obvious reasons.”
in a sense I’m glad Krugman gave voice to it on this day. They can’t stand the fact that the attacks on 9/11 proved that their world view was wrong, and every mention of 9/11 is like a thorn in their political sides.
As I said before, and mentioned again (above) this is the “public discourse [of] two polarized camps”. It is obvious to which camp Gates of Vienna belongs, though with the fragmentation on the right, not all in our tent treat us as welcome guests. But that’s okay. We’re staying anyway.
In a comment on the Baron’s post today, Elisabeth reflects another facet of this polarizing effect Islam has on its hosts:
The Other 9/11 will be one not celebrated by Austrians, as mention of the Turkish siege and the subsequent victory by Sobieski will no longer be taught to Austrian grade school students: the feelings of children of Turkish descent might be hurt.
God help us and the Austrian people.
To which I would add, “Be of good cheer. He already has.”
It seems the Poles have long memories indeed, and they still occupy a small piece of Vienna where the 328th anniversary of that victory — for which our blog is named — is still celebrated with great fanfare in Vienna, and the battle is recalled:
The French engineer Dupont who served in the Polish army noted in his diary:
Great God! What a spectacle presented itself to our eyes from the apex of this mountain! The enormous space covered with sumptuous tents. The dreadful thunder of the enemy’s batteries and the reciprocating shots coming from the city walls filled the air. Smoke and flames shrouded the city in such a way that only the tops of the towers were visible in between. Besides, more than 200 000 Turks are spread in order of battle before their camp in the distance from the Danube to the mountains, and farther to the left of the Turks uncounted Tatar hordes approached the heights and the forests. All this was in full motion, and marched against the Christian army.
Grand Vizier Kara Mustafa, however, had failed to deploy infantry units in the Vienna Woods. The Poles could therefore break through the defense line of the Turks and locked them in the north-west of Vienna in fierce battles. After the nucleus of the Turkish troops had been destroyed, the Turks seized the headlong flight. Kara Mustafa had lost the battle of Vienna despite triple numeric superiority…
The Turkish army gathered once again at Raab [today’s Gyor, in Hungary] and moved from there back to Belgrade. It was here that the unsuccessful commander Kara Mustafa was strangled on 25 December on the orders of the Sultan.
The empire of the Hapsburgs took a long time to recover from the devastation by the Turks. Yet this victory of the Christians initiated the gradual suppression of the Ottoman sphere of influence in Europe.
And who could have known? This information from a Russian blog REDACTED TO REMOVE LINK [see below][…]describes today’s festivities at the Church of Saint Joseph. Notice that the Mass was celebrated on the heights outside Vienna, by a Polish bishop from the Katowice Archdiocese. If I understand it correctly, the priests who serve at this church come from the same diocese in Poland so there must have been ecclesial arrangements made long ago for this perennial tribute to Jon Sobieski [the emphasis below is mine]:
This year, the 328th Anniversary of the Battle of Kahlenberg (Battle of Vienna) was held this Sunday with a solemn High Mass celebrated in the Church of St. Joseph on the Kahlenberg. The Holy Mass was celebrated by HE Bishop Gerard Bernacki from the Archdiocese of Katowice. The High Mass was accompanied by the choir of the Archdiocese of Katowice under the direction of Krzysztof Kaganiec. In a brief appraisal, the bishop pointed to the importance of the Polish military relief in 1683 for the Christian history of the West, but avoided any allusion to today’s situation. [Politically correct silence reigns everywhere — D]
Following the Holy Mass on the parvis of the church a harvest festival was held with performances by the singing and folk dance ensemble “Podhale-Zakopane” and distribution of fresh bread and grapes from Poland to the visitors. A sporting event, i.e. a running race in honor of the Polish King Sobieski marked the end of the celebration.
It is very gratifying to see that the memory of the Battle of Kahlenberg is still so vivid in Poland that every year many people from Poland, especially young people, find their way to Vienna to join the commemorations. It would be nice if this memory would be similarly pronounced in the Viennese population, especially in the red-green Vienna city administration. The latter had not even officially sent a single representative to the ceremonies and was conspicuous by its absence.
Since the city will not send representatives, perhaps some of Austria’s political parties will be brave enough to do so?
Next year’s celebration is bound to be even bigger, given the planned canonization in May of that other world-famous Pole, Pope John Paul II.
Patriotic Austrians might consider an alliance with these Poles on the heights above Vienna. They might also consider an alignment with the current Pope, Benedict XVI, a Bavarian who is fluent in German and French. Ratzinger chose his papal name partly because Benedict of Nursia is the patron saint of Europe.
This pope is outspoken in his reflections on the crucial need for the faculty of Reason as it applies to theological questions. His views have been roundly criticized by Islamic scholars, who view submission as the only requirement.
On the other hand, Benedict speaks favorably about immigration, so there may be some work to do to bring him round to a more realistic view.
At any event, there will be a 329th celebration of Sobieski’s arrival at the Gates of Vienna, just in the nick of time. Patriotic Austrians, frustrated at the deliberate silence of Vienna’s city fathers, would do well to put in an appearance at St. Joseph’s Church to join the celebration.
Hat tip: ESW
*** UPDATE ***
I received a request today to remove the link to the feature about St. Joseph’s Church, above. The person making this request that it was private —
this blog is not intended for public use, and most of its contents (in fact, 99%) are open to registered users only (i.e., journalists who participate in our translation network).
His email was courteous, though I’m at a loss to understand why I was able to open a page in a “private” blog.
Yes, of course, I will also let the writer know about the wayback machine and about the nature of cached pages, and how this creates even more attention. Eventually I suppose his link will disappear from the cached material, but probably not so easily from the wayback gizmo.
Cyberspace may not equal eternity, but it comes close to it on this side of the divide.