Gregor Mayer was born in 1960 and studied philosophy and mathematics in Graz and Vienna. He has reported from Central and Southeast Europe for the weekly news magazine "profil", the daily broadsheet "Der Standard" and the Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) since early 1990’s. He authored numerous reports describing the wars in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo. From 2003 to 2005 he ran the dpa office in Baghdad. Since 2005 he is the dpa special correspondent for the Near East and other regions. He has translated works by the Hungarian writer István Eörsi (1931–2005) into German, including the novella "Hiob und Heine. Passagiere im Niemandsland" (Klagenfurt 1999). He lives in Belgrade and Budapest.
He was a controversial figure, decried as a pornographer, and had to fight for recognition. When Egon Schiele died of the Spanish flu at the age of 28, he left behind a vast oeuvre of 330 paintings and almost 3000 works on paper. Gregor Mayer portrays this extraordinary artist’s journey through life. He describes the context in which Schiele’s artistry developed and the sources from which he drew his inspiration. A sense of crisis, a notion of impending upheaval overshadowed the era in which Schiele was active. This outlook is not entirely alien to us. What makes this book particularly appealing is that Gregor Mayer succeeds in establishing a connection to our current times via Schiele’s life story.
The triumph and death of Gavrilo Princip the assassin
Sarajevo, June 28, 1914: The Serbian student Gavrilo Princip shoots the Austrian heir apparent Franz Ferdinand and his wife. The assassination will serve as the reason for the Habsburg Monarchy to invade Serbia – and thus unleash the First World War. What drove the assassin of Sarajevo, what made his beliefs radical and turned him into an assassin? At the center of events we find phenomena that are uncannily topical: occupation, failed states, terrorism.
Gregor Mayer draws parallels between the global political confusion prevalent at the time – with its dramatic upheavals and fear of modernization– and the politics of our day and age.
Right-wing parties and neo-fascist groups are becoming an ever-increasing problem in young democracies throughout East and Central Europe. Next to these parties’ successes in elections in Hungary and Slovakia, brutal attacks on minorities by paramilitary groups or Nazi skinheads in Serbia and the Czech Republic are making headlines. There is an urgent need for more thorough information on East Europe’s right-wing extremist scene in order to make an appropriate assessment of the threat these groups pose.
News correspondents Gregor Mayer and Bernhard Odehnal have been watching the growing threat for years – sometimes even putting themselves in the line of fire. In their reports, comprised in this book, they analyze the right-wing extremist scene in Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Serbia, Croatia and Bulgaria. They gathered inside information on the subject in both on-site research and interviews. On the basis of these insights, they outline the historical and ideological background of these events in the respective countries. The authors demonstrate how animosity against Roma, Jews and homosexuals is fueled and point out connections to extremist groups in Germany and Austria, who are striving for the creation of a “North-South axis” of “National resistance”.
Mayer and Odehnal clearly name the threat emanating from these ultra-nationalist agitations – a threat for the political stability of each of these countries as well as for democracy in the entire European community.