Paul Wittgenstein

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Wittgenstein  at Paris

The figure at the left edge of the picture with his head bowed in thought represents Paul Wittgenstein.  Though not yet thirty, his talent as a pianist has long been recognized and a brilliant career awaits him in the sophisticated musical world of Vienna where he will arrive home aboard the “Orient-Express” on Tuesday. During the first week of August, in one of the initial engagements of the First World War, Leutnant Wittgenstein, a reserve dragoon officer called up with his regiment in the Austro-Hungarian Imperial and Royal Army, will be shot in his right arm by a Russian soldier.  Two days later a Russian surgeon will amputate the arm to save Wittgenstein’s life. Despite the loss, the once promising pianist will spend the rest of the war on the Italian front as aide-de-camp to an Austrian general. With the war ended and with astounding determination, Paul Wittgenstein returns to the piano, later commissioning important compositions for the left hand from Richard Strauss and Maurice Ravel.

The “Sarajevo 1914 Collection”, begun in 1979, has been and continues to be assembled
in partnership with Ingrid Bitter, Director MC W. Schueler, Stuttgart

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