aimGoals of the AAS The Austro-American Society celebrated its 70th anniversary on March 18th, 2017. Today it continues to be an active organization. Both countries share common values, namely freedom, including religious freedom, the right to self-determination, strong democratic institutions, and the rule of law. The support provided by the USA in establishing these values after WW II cannot be valued too highly, and Austria thanks the USA for this post-war support, which laid the foundation for a long and stable friendship. The goal of the Austro-American Society of Salzburg is to promote friendship and support cultural exchange between Americans and Austrians.
To do this we not only encourage personal contact but also sponsor visits to museums and exhibits, concerts by American and Austrian artists, as well as English language theater productions. We believe that common cultural experiences unite us. The best way to convey cultural history is to go to the places where it happened. Examples include visits to the Silent Night communities, the workshops of composers and poets, as well as the fortresses and castles of our land. We believe the best way to understand the Austrian soul is to participate in national customs and genuine popular culture. To promote this idea, we make an annual bus excursion to well-known cultural sites, all the while not neglecting the natural beauty of our land. Not only the positive, but also the darker sides of Austrian history come into focus, for example with a visit to the concentration camp at Mauthausen.
We have also taken a concerned look at the treatment of the handicapped in the Third Reich, a topic that demands more attention. The 50th anniversary of the Hollywood film, the Sound of Music, with Julie Andrews in the star role in the original film, was enthusiastically screened in Salzburg. We already knew that Americans love this musical but that very few Salzburg residents had ever seen this this film, even though it has always brought many tourists to the city. The AAS members and friends were delighted by the entire “Sound of Music Experience”, organized in 2015, to celebrate this anniversary. The showing of the film at the Mozart Cinema helped Austrians to understand why so many Americans absolutely love it. .