Robert Schediwy (Alumnus 1967)



The Glorious Summer of '67

The year 1967 had not been too good to me. I had bout with a strange disease, probably Pfeifer`s glandular fever, which left me weak and slightly feverish for months. In spring I developed an allergy. It is a lot of fun to watch somebody sneeze ten times in a row, but it is less fun to experience it. May 1967 saw me in a quite miserable state. But I had one thing to look forward to: I had won a scholarship to the Summer School of the University of Vienna. In June 1966, at the end of my first year of law studies I had passed  the  first big examination of my juridical studies, the “state exam” on the history of law, with an “excellent” in  canonical law. That convinced professor Gampl, who had been my examinator (today one would probably say examinatrix) to recommend me to the Strobl School.

And indeed it proved to be a wonderful summer. 15oo Austrian Shillings for six weeks  of full board plus two entrance tickets  to the Salzburg Festival was a very modest fee (I picked “Boris Godunow” with the fantastic Nicolai Gjaurov and, of course, the Salzburg Classic“Jedermann”). And the courses were extremely interesting.  I still remember vividly the historian Fritz Fellner who instructed us in detail on the Versailles Peace Treaty and the possible  interpretations of its “war guilt article”. The economist Adolf Nussbaumer gave us a solid overview of European Economic Systems (It came as a shock to me when I heard about his untimely death a few years later). And I also remember professor Hausmaninger ‘s multilingual  perfection. His accent in English sounded as if his ancestors had come to America on the “Mayflower” and his Russian was supposed to be equally perfect. Furthermore he brought with him Hans Georg (Jiri) Heinrich who impressed me with an equally astounding  version of a southern drawl  and also a seemingly very authentic pronounciation of Russian.

In my memory that summer of ’67 consisted only of sunny days. I still remember the names of some student colleagues even though  I never met them again afterwards. Guenter Polanec who became, I think, later on  a sports journalist was a blond Styrian beau whose easy way with the females impressed me, Adrea Fleming was a beautiful and charming American with whom I would have liked to talk more but in the end was too shy to do so. With Gerhild (“Gigi”) Klugar from Graz on the contrary I completely felt at home – but she was to be off to the US with a Fulbriht Scholarship soon after the end of   the Strobl Seminar.  I would like to know what became of  all those nice people…

There also was one dark, almost tragic episode which I remember quite vividly. A student from Czechoslovakia, let`s call him  Pawel, was at the Strobl seminar too. His German was excellent, but rather old-fashioned. It sounded as if he had mostly learned it from books  and that was indeed the case, as I found out talking to him  every once in  while.

Unfortunately Pawel’s favorite author was E.T.A. Hoffmann and there was one teacher of German at the seminar who by his looks could really make one think of a “hoffmanesque” figure. It was a completely harmless Tyrolean: but with his deep tan and icy blue eyes he could really make one feel uneasy. He would have been fully qualified to participate in a casting for one of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s demons.

Pawel immediately noticed this teacher and identified him with the “Sandman” one of the better known Characters in Hofmann’s works. The end was sad: Pawel retired more and more often to his room, he was in panic. In the end he got into a paranoid crisis und had to be brought back to his home country in a taxi.

That was the only dark episode that marred that glorious summer of 1967.


Robert Schediwy
Strobl Alumnus 1967



Robert Schediwy and Gigi Klugar (1967) (© Robert Schediwy)

Robert Schediwy and Gigi Klugar (1967) (© Robert Schediwy)

From Strobl to Munich (1967) (© Robert Schediwy)

From Strobl to Munich (1967) (© Robert Schediwy)