Book presentation: Gerhard Jelinek “Schöne Tage. 1914”

The year 1914 began with “pleasant days,” as Arthur Schnitzler noted in his diary. Alma Mahler moved into her new house on Semmering. Even the deadly shots in Sarajevo in early July did not reverberate long. Emperor Wilhelm II set off in his yacht on a voyage to northern lands. Emperor Franz Joseph moved to Bad Ischl for his summer vacation. The Serbian chief of staff traveled for a health cure to Bad Gleichenberg. And Baron Rothschild saw no reason to reorganize his banking business. Within a few hours, however, the “good old days” as described here with so much immediacy were over. Did people really have no idea how their lives would be changed in just a few months? Gerhard Jelinek brings to life the period from January 1 to August 3, 1914, with a colorful mosaic of diary entries and newspaper reports.


Gerhard Jelinek studied law before becoming a journalist. He has been with ORF since 1989, amongst other things as presenter of the program “Report,” and is today head of the Documentation and Contemporary History department and the knowledge magazine “Newton.” His award-winning TV documentaries and books, based on comprehensive research, offer a fascinating and clear review of historical events.

Eric Frey (journalist with the Austrian daily newspaper Der Standard) talks to Gerhard Jelinek.