Monday, February 20, 2023


An unnamed boxer and wrester posed for this one in Vienna in 1932.



  1. Now, I wonder if that is a jockstrap or the athletic equivalent of a dance belt. The latter were worn far more frequently in central and eastern Europe and were a staple of the Victorian strong men. Vienna was very much Mitteleuropa, even after the Great War but the jockstrap itself remained far more a phenomenon of the Anglosphere.

  2. Vienna is, was, and will be Mitteleuropa!

    1. There is very little left of the concept of Mitteleuropa in the way Europeans of Central Europe think of themselves. Something of it would have persisted in the former imperial capital of Vienna but not the larger part of the rump state of Austria after WWI, elements of which always wanted Anschluss - which means "union" or "federation", not "annexation" - with Germany long before the rise of National Socialism but was prevented by the Treaty of Versailles. WWII largely put paid to it with Iron Curtain and the larger part of Mitteleuropa drawn into the Russian sphere of influence under the guise of the USSR. Europe then saw itself as either West or East. Austria - occupied post-war by the USSR - managed to survive as a neutral state in the western sphere, and looked West. Germany was divided, with its most eastern provinces given to Poland. Today, the centre of gravity is even further to the West, in Brussels, the effective capital of the European Union, and states as eastern as the Ukraine look to Brussels and the West, not East, and the concept of anything notional in between is now effectively dead.