Vienna was home to 23 synagogues prior to World War II, only one of which outlasted the Nazis --the Stadttempel, which was constructed in 1825 and 1826 and which survived Kristallnacht in November, 1938. This beautiful house of worship was saved because the emperor had ordered that it be built behind facades and as part of an organic structure which included apartment buildings and which shielded passers-by on the street from the view of a non-Catholic house of worship. The terrorists of Kristallnacht could not torch the temple without burning down the homes of gentiles and without endangering one of...
That wasn't a slam at the Catholic Church. Austria's state religion was a heavily state-controlled Catholic Church. Even Protestant churches were suppressed for the benefit of the state, first, the Habsburg empire, then the socialist government. Don't be set off by that comment. It's not a slam, it's true. Austria is a great example of what happens when the state controls religion.
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