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Foreword by tenured professorial chair Lien-te Hung—History of Austria by Dr. Tzu-hsin Tu, assistant

Foreword by tenured professorial chair Lien-te Hung—History of Austria by Dr. Tzu-hsin Tu, assistant professor of National Chung Cheng University

Foreword by professor Lien-te Hung

   The Second Austrian Republic in the heart of Europe, covers more than twice the territory of Taiwan, but its population is only a little over a third of that of Taiwan. However, this small landlocked European country, besides being one of the 28 member states of the European Union, is a "permanently neutral state" under the constitution. It is not allowed to form alliances or merge with any power (especially the Federal Republic of Germany), and it has its neutrality recognized in the world after Switzerland. Thanks to such recognition by the powers (especially the former Soviet Union after the Second World War), this country with a long history and the most prosperous culture in Central Europe was saved from the fate of being occupied by the four powers of Britain, France, the United States and the Soviet Union that Germany suffered after the end of World War II. This was the international arrangements after the end of World War II and the wise choice of the people and officials of Austria. The success of diplomatic activities in this respect has made Austria’s capital Vienna become an international city where sub-agencies of the United Nations headquarters had been set up and stationed since the end of World War II. Besides the reputation of the city of music, it has also become the first choice for major conferences around the world.
   Divided into five sections and sixteen chapters, this monograph is a compendium of rich contents of more than 2,000 years of Austrian history. The author first introduces the landlocked country's landscape, national politics, as well as the complicated process of Austrian national identity. Then he begins to go over the development of Austria from prehistoric times to the medieval period, and all the way to the takeover of Austria by the Babenberg family and the Habsburg family. Then, this book expounds the Habsburg family's second accession to the First Reich (the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation) in the early ancient times, and the emergence process of its becoming the superpower. Then it further analyzes the formation of the Prussian-Austrian binary system in the German world in the middle and late 18th century. After entering the 19th century, Austria, through the superb political skills of prime minister Metternich and at the Congress of Vienna held after Napoleon's defeat, maneuvered among various political groupings, carefully constructed a balance of power system, kept Austria's national interests above all, and created a reactionary "Metternich system." However, after the outbreak of the March Revolution  in Germany in 1848 and the subsequent wave of nationalism gaining momentum in Austria, coupled with Austria's defeat in the 1866 Austro-Prussian War and being excluded from the future German nation-state, Austria had to compromise and yield to the Magyars, another large ethnic group within the Empire, which brought about the rise of the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary in 1867. However, the Austro-Hungarian Empire with the emblem of the double-headed eagle on the Danube eventually led to the collapse of the House of Habsburg after the end of World War I and the disintegration of the dual monarchy due to ethnic strife in the territory and the outbreak of World War I.
   What followed was the turmoil of the First Austrian Republic between the two wars, in which Hitler rose to power. Growing up in the cities of Leonding and Linz in Oberõsterreich, Austria, Adolf Hitler once roamed around Vienna in an attempt to become a painter but failed. As a result, he became a cynical young man, with hostility toward or prejudice against Jews. In the 1930s, his Nazis advocated racism and seized power, and launched World War II, which became the main culprit of the war. In recent years, the highly revered biography throughout the German-speaking historical circle is Brigitte Hamann's Hitler's Vienna: A Portrait of the Tyrant as A Young Man (Trans.) In the 15th chapter of Tu's book, the history of Austria's annexation into the Third Reich in the midst of the huge wave of German nationalism can be seen.
Of course, in addition to exploring the development of Austrian political history, this book does not neglect Austria's high achievements in art and culture. It elaborates on the grand occasion of Austrian arts and culture from the end of the century to the Second World War, allowing readers to catch a glimpse of the glorious era of Austria as a European cultural giant and Vienna as the capital of arts and culture in Europe from the end of the 19th century to the early 20th century, and further understand the reasons why Austrian people have repeatedly emphasized the founding of a cultural nation. In the last chapter are presented the political development of the Second Austrian Republic after World War II and the current economic, social and cultural prosperity of Austria
   With smooth writing, clear narration, detailed quotations and clear annotations, this book is accompanied by a number of valuable illustrations to allow readers to find the content with the aid of the images and stimulate their imagination. At the same time, it includes a chronology to help readers with consultation, which is the merit of this nearly 400-page historical work. In addition, this work is also the most novel, detailed and in-depth publication on Austrian history in Chinese-speaking countries and regions such as China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao, Singapore, and Malaysia so far. After its publication, it can not only update Taiwan and the Chinese-speaking world on the Austrian information, but also be included in the general education for domestic university students, or even in the textbooks for senior high school students.  
   The author of this foreword has a deep connection with Austria and Germany. In the early period (1962-63), he studied in the University of Freiburg, Germany, and then transferred to the University of Vienna, Austria to study Staatswissenschaften, which was the integration of the former political science, economics, sociology and jurisprudence. In 1967, he was awarded the Doctor rerum politicarum (abbreviated as Dr. rer. pol.). From 1968 to 1973, he taught in the institute of international politics at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, and then was employed by the department of government and public administration of Nanyang University, Singapore and the department of political science of National University of Singapore over a span of 20 years. In 1992, he was employed as a visiting professor by the Graduate Institute of San Min Chu I (later renamed Graduate Institute of National Development) of National Taiwan University for two years before becoming a full-time professor until he retired in 2012. Unexpectedly, in spring 2012, he was brought in as a professorial chair by National Chiao Tung University (NCTU) until this summer, and now he is a tenured professorial chair in the NCTU Center for General Education. Since he had been studying and teaching in Germany and Austria for 12 years, and then staying in Vienna for six years, where he tied the knot (he married Ms. Shu-yu Su who studied German in Austria), thus creating a special bond between him and Austria. During stay in Munich in those years, he and his wife often drove from Southern Germany to Austria over Christmas, Easter or winter and summer holidays, roaming around the mountains and lakes in Austria, and visiting opera houses, theatres, museums and galleries in Vienna to experience the beauty of music and art works that comfort the body, mind, and spirit. Meanwhile, the simplicity and kindness of the Austrians are so attractive to them that they have spent almost every summer for the past 10 years flying back to Austria, despite the arduous voyage. They regard Austria, especially Vienna, as their second hometown.
Dr. Tzu-hsin Tu, the author of this book, is my student. He is now an assistant professor in the Department of History at National Chung Cheng University. His teaching focuses on the history of Central European, Central and Eastern European countries and regions closely related to the German-speaking world, such as the history of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, the history of Austria, the history of Central and Eastern European countries and the history of the Balkans, etc. This specialty is closely related to his background. He graduated from the University of Kassel, Germany with a PhD in history, focusing on the historical changes in Central Europe, Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans, especially in the relations between Germany and the Slavic peoples. Upon his return home, he immediately devoted himself to academic work. His spirit and perseverance in studying the history of Central Europe, Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans, which are rarely covered by the world history academics in Taiwan, are quite admirable. As his teacher, I’m proud of his achievements.
   In view of Professor Tzu-hsin Tu’s historical talents, historical knowledge and wisdom (the wisdom shaped by historical philosophy and historical outlook), as well as his profound historical attainments of Germany, Austria and Central and Eastern Europe, it is hoped that after the completion of the book History of Austria, he can write more articles on the history and culture of Central Europe, Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans in the German-speaking world, so as to benefit the students who are eager for knowledge.

By Lien-te Hung in his humble abode at the foot of Shiba Jianshan, Hsinchu on Oct 21, 2019