Home

You know, Anton Pavlovich, I grew up in Döbling, the 19th district of Vienna. Armbrustergasse is a few hundred meters from my parents’ house. At that time Federal Chancellor Bruno Kreisky, the head of our government, lived in this alley. Every time we drove to our house in Klosterneuburg in the north of Vienna, we passed his villa on the left side of the street. We often saw his car, an old Rover, standing in front of the house and sometimes even himself. We also knew his phone number because it was listed in the public phone book.

The Hohe Warte with the presidential villa was even closer than Armbrustergasse. In my childhood we regularly visited the Sunday evening mass in the Carmelite Church, which was just around the corner. And every weekend we met Federal President Rudolf Kirchschläger and his wife Herma, who were also on their way to the mass.

In the church, the two of them always sat in the row in front of us on the right back side. And when the priest initiated the “peace greeting” with the words “give each other a sign of peace”, our Federal President slowly turned around and looked at me with a soft smile. And he said in a low and loving voice: “Peace be with you.” And then he shook my hand.

Since that time I know what “home” means.

Thank you, Anton Pavlovich, for listening. I am going to sleep now. I wish you a very good night!

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