Hot Books in the Cold War: The CIA-Funded Secret Western Book Distribution Program behind the Iron Curtain

By Alfred A. Reisch | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 13
The Most Important Book
Distribution Point: Vienna

Because of its geographical proximity to communist-ruled Eastern Europe, Austria and its vibrant capital city, Vienna, played a key role throughout the duration of the book distribution and book mailing programs. Many people, Austrians and East European émigrés, were involved in this endeavor, as well as a number of Austrian organizations. But the key role was played by one single man who, for close to a quarter of a century, became George Minden’s most important man in Vienna. After 1990 until his retirement in 2002, he managed the Wiener Spielzeugschachtel, a children’s toyshop in Vienna. Today, Peter Straka enjoys the quiet and well-deserved life of a pensioner, dividing his time between his hometown Vienna and his bucolic home in the small village of Ratsch in southern Styria, on the AustrianSlovenian border, which lies at the end of his garden and vineyard. Still an active traveler, friendly and unassuming, it is hard to believe how important a role he played at a time when it was risky and sometimes dangerous to smuggle Western and émigré political and other books and periodicals across the Iron Curtain, or to approach large groups of East European tourists, with a possible informer lurking among them. Yet, for over two decades, Straka managed, alone or with the cooperation and assistance of others, to mail or to distribute hand to hand tens of thousands of the best books the West had to offer to the culturally and intellectually starved intellectuals and readers of Eastern Europe.

This author, at that time the Hungarian national plans advisor for George Minden’s Book Center in New York, has known Peter for some three decades. We met for the first time in 1971 in Vienna, on a

-295-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Hot Books in the Cold War: The CIA-Funded Secret Western Book Distribution Program behind the Iron Curtain
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 566

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.