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april 26, 1963
GROUNDBREAKING AT THE NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR 1964-1965
Excerpts from transcriptions of remarks by Aus-
trian and World's Fair officials at groundbreaking
ceremonies for the Austrian Pavilion, New York
World's Fair, Friday, April 26, 1963.
RICHARD C. PATTERSON: [Chief of Protocol]:
Mr. Consul General, Mr. Commissioner General, Gover-
nor Poletti and ladies and gentlemen. This groundbreak-
ing ceremony for the Austrian Pavilion is of very great
importance to all of us. When it rises on this site it will
stand as a symbol of a country rich in historical and cul-
tural traditions. It will also serve to remind us of the
great progress that has been made by Austria since the end
of the last World War.
The first speaker is the vice president of the World's
Fair in charge of International Affairs and Exhibits, for-
mer governor of the state of New York, the Honorable
THE HONORABLE CHARLES POLETTI: Commis-
sioner General, Commander Markhof, Consul General
Willfort, my good friend Mr. Spitz and officials of the
World's Fair. We are very happy indeed to have Austria
among our international participants. We hope that the
millions of visitors that will come here will appreciate the
glories of the culture and traditions of that country, and
also get to understand and appreciate and admire some-
thing that's unique in the world, that gemuchlich spirit of
Austria. We are delighted to participate in this very sig-
nificant occasion. Thank you.
RICHARD PATTERSON: Thank you very much
Governor. Our next speaker is one of Austria's most prom-
inent business executives, president of the American
Chamber of Commerce in Austria, and head of the Vienna
Chamber of Commerce and other organizations. Let me
present him. He's the Austrian Commissioner General to
the World's Fair, the Honorable Manfred von Mautner-
THE HONORABLE CONSUL MANFRED VON
MAUTNER-MARKHOF: Mr. President, Consul Gen-
eral, Governor Poletti, Ambassador Patterson, ladies and
gentlemen. As Austrian Commissioner General for the
New York World's Fair 1964-1965, I take great pleasure
Cover: Artist's rendering of Austrian Pavilion which will be "A" shaped in design, to symbolize Austria as a land of mountains
and tourism, and constructed of wood to symbolize the richness of the timber and industry. Mr. Gustav Peichl of Austria and
Pisani and Carlos of New York are the architects and The Displayers, Inc. act as coordinators.
2 © ,96 3 New York World's Fair 1964-1965 Corporation
in welcoming you to the site of the Austrian exhibit. I
want to thank you for joining us, for your interest in our
project. I am pleased to bring you the greetings of all the
officers and directors of the Institute of Economic Devel-
opment of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, the
agency in charge of planning and running our pavilion.
Even though our efforts cannot be interpreted as official
participation by the Republic of Austria, it will be a par-
ticipation of the entire economy of Austria. You will
easily realize that in organizing our project in the way that
we have, we want to contribute to the success of this great
Fair, and we want to demonstrate once more the friendly
relationship we have maintained with your wonderful
country and population for many many years.
We Austrians love to take advantage of every oppor-
tunity to widen and to strengthen our international rela-
tions because we firmly believe that mutual understanding
and personal contact are a most important basis for har-
monious and peaceful life of all people in this world. We
shall attempt to bring our country, situated in the heart of
Europe, close to all Americans who have not yet seen it
themselves. We want to convey to the American public
not only some of Austria's beauty but we want to give an
image of our accomplishments, and of our abilities in the
economic field as well as in the fine arts.
We realize of course that the true strength of a small
country lies not so much in industrial mass production but
in satisfying the idealistic demands and supplying the
A bulldozer breaks ground for the Pavilion of Austria. Left
to right: Commissioner General of Austria, Consul Manfred
von Mautner-Markhof (in bulldozer); Governor Charles
Poletti, vice president, International Affairs and Exhibits at
the Fair; Miss Elfriede Mundl of the Austrian Institute in
New York; and Mr. Robert Moses, Fair president.
Mr. Otto M. Spitz, Austrian trade delegate in the United
States (left), is presented with a Fair medallion by Mr.
Robert Moses, Fair president.
finest quality. We are proud to state this has always been
well- received in the American market. We therefore be-
lieve that our not too large presentation in the Fair should
be put under the heading of "made especially for you by
Today's ceremony is for all of us a milestone on our
road toward becoming an active member of the World's
Fair community. A road, if I may say so, we are following
with much sincerity and devotion. This is especially true
with respect to our trade delegate and representative here
in New York, Mr. Otto Spitz, who has done a wonderful
job in assisting us in our endeavor here, and also in respect
to our chief architect from Vienna, Mr. Gustav Peichl.
He's a representative of the younger generation of archi-
tects who has not forgone any effort or time in order to
create an original and appealing pavilion. The Austrian
Pavilion symbolizes the meaning of Austria through the
use of frames in the shape of the capital letter "A." Our
pavilion is prefabricated in Austria, and it is made of
wood, a typical Alpine building material.
Permit me also to thank all the people and organizations
in the United States which have helped us so efficiently:
first of all Mr. President, Governor, and all the capable
and efficient members of your staff. Let me assure you that
your cooperation not only with the Austrian sponsors, but
also with our associated firms, as for example our New
York coordinators, The Displayers Inc., and the architects,
Pisani and Carlos, is highly appreciated. We are aware of
the fact that our success depends on your continued assis-
tance and cooperation.
With this groundbreaking ceremony, we are expressing
our desire that Austria's efforts in this Fair shall bring us
additional friends in the United States of America, and
contribute to your success, Mr. President, and your distin-
guished associates as much as to our own. Thank you.
RICHARD PATTERSON: Thank you Mr. Commis-
sioner General. Since November 1962 we have been for-
tunate in having our next speaker living right here in New
York City. A prominent lawyer and industrialist, he joined
the Austrian diplomatic service in 1957, and served in
various positions in Vienna and abroad. I am honored to
give you the Consul General of Austria in New York, the
Honorable Johannes Willfort.
CONSUL GENERAL JOHANNES WILLFORT: Mr.
President, Mr. Governor, Mr. Commissioner and dear
friend, ladies and gentlemen. I have also been asked to
say some words at this groundbreaking, and I have ac-
cepted with great pleasure, notwithstanding that for rea-
sons you all know, and which reflect our respect for
international obligations, my country has not been in a
position to participate officially in the World's Fair. How-
ever, we are happy that a solution could be found similar
to that applied by several other countries in an analogous
The pavilion to be erected by the Austrian Chamber of
Commerce will endeavor to reflect, very comprehensively,
as we have just heard, all of the Austrian economy. And
it intends, moreover, to present to the public the entire
image of modern, of today's Austria — which is, we be-
lieve, somewhat different from what generally is the basic,
the "classic" image of Austria in the minds of the average
Austria is synonymous to everybody, has he been on a
visit to Austria or not, with wonderful landscapes, high
peaks, with snow and glaciers in the Alps, a multitude of
lakes and gentle undulated hills and so forth, inviting the
tourist to relax completely in summer and in winter. Aus-
tria is, of course, especially well-known for her culture,
her artistic treasures of the past, be it in form of baroque
palaces and churches, or in the realm of music — I need
only mention Mozart or Haydn.
These aspects are very important ones indeed, we are
rather proud of them and we do cherish them. But there
is still another side, especially important for Austria's
existence: the economic field. Austria has developed into
a highly industrialized country with very fine, skilled
labor. The achievements of Austrian industry of today,
too, will find their due place in this pavilion.
To present in the overall picture of Austria all this:
culture, tradition, history, beautiful scenery and pleasant
life, as well as the economic achievements and stability on
a geographically and politically difficult and sensitive spot,
has been the permanent endeavor of Austrian representa-
tives abroad. And it is, therefore, most gratifying to feel
The Honorable Johannes G. Willfort, Consul General of
Austria (left), receives a Fair medallion, presented by Mr.
Robert Moses, Fair president.
that the pavilion which is going to stand here in the near
future, will reflect the complete image of modern Austria,
and will, consequently, be a most valuable contribution
toward explaining Austria to the world.
To conclude, I should like to tender my best wishes to
the distinguished Commissioner General and his associ-
ates for a successful, work. I am confident that their efforts,
with the cooperation and assistance of you, Mr. President,
of you Mr. Governor, and of your efficient staff, which,
I am sure, you will give them to the largest possible extent,
will make the pavilion a real success. Thank you.
RICHARD PATTERSON: Thank you very much Mr.
Consul General. Before presenting the final speaker I
should like to ask the following to take a bow: the national
architect for the Austrian Pavilion, Mr. Gustav Peichl;
his two New York associate architects, Mr. Frank Pisani
and Mr. John Carlos.
Now ladies and gentlemen and distinguished guests,
I give you the President of the New York World's Fair,
the Honorable Robert Moses.
ROBERT MOSES: I don't know what some of us for
our bearings would do without the proper instruction.
Dick Patterson tells us what to do in foreign company and
Charlie Poletti is a sort of roving Berlitz School. He taught
us just enough to get by. We could say: Je ne peu pas
purler Vranqais, mais je comprend tous, or io 11011 posso
parlare Italiano ma posso comprendere tutto, or Wir
konnen auch gelaufig deutsch sprechen. That just about
ends our talent.
But seriously, I am much impressed with the argument,
the statement that you don't necessarily have to have a lot
of acreage and a very big building to present something
that's significant to the visitors to the Fair. Now as one of
the speakers here said, you are not going to turn out as
many motor cars or anything else as General Motors or
Ford or Chrysler, or it's not an assembly line country —
you have culture ; you have scenery ; you have the arts, and
they can be presented very attractively in a small compass.
I remember a few years ago going over to join General
Clay and write a report on the Ruhr. While there I went
to Garmish in Austria and had a wonderful time. I never
got around to writing the report 'til the last night I was
there and I had to stay up all night to write it.
Now we are delighted that you're here. And we think
you have a lot to show. Again I must emphasize the fact
that if you just present the best things you have, don't
worry about the size of the exhibit, don't worry about how
much money other people are spending, and don't worry
over the fact that while you have the government blessing,
you are not strictly speaking a government exhibit. In
many ways, we would rather deal with the leading citizens
than with governments.
Thank you for coming and we'll be in touch with you
right along. If there is anything that we can do to help
you to expedite your work, smooth your path, just let us
THE AUSTRIAN PAVILION
a 17,683 sq. ft. site
THE AUSTRIAN PAVILION
CONSUL MANFRED VON MAUTNER-MARKHOF, Commissioner General
THE HONORABLE JOHANNES G. WILLFORT, Consul General of Austria
DIPL. ARCHITECT GUSTAV PE1CHL
DR. FRANZ KIRCHMAIR of the Institute of Economic Development
of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber
MR. OTTO M. SPITZ, Austrian Trade Delegate in the
NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR 1964-1965 CORPORATION
Flushing 52, N. Y. Tel. 212-WF 4-1964
ROBERT MOSES, President
THOMAS J. DEEGAN, JR., Chairman of the Executive Committee
WILLIAM E. POTTER, Executive Vice President
CHARLES POLETTI, Vice President, International Affairs and Exhibits
STUART CONSTABLE, Vice President, Operations
WILLIAM BERNS, Vice President, Communications and Public Relations
ERWIN WITT, CompfroJ/er
MARTIN STONE, Director of Industrial Section
GUY F. TOZZOLI, (Port of New York Authority) Transportation Section
ERNESTINE R. HAIG, Secretary of the Corporation and
Assistant to the President
WILLIAM WHIPPLE, JR., Chief Engineer