US Army Retired

US Army Retired

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Waltzing in the Shadows

Johann Straus. Amadeus Wolfgang Mozart. Straußwirtschaften wine gardens. Beer cellars. The Prater with its huge ferris wheel and hectares of parks and gardens. Imperial palaces. Vienna, a gem on the banks of the Danube. An island of neutrality between foes engaged in The Wold War. A mysterious cult with awesome connections.

Bill Daniels happily leaves Washington, DC for his new assignment at the American Embassy. He meets and befriends Ursula Weber, unbeknownst to him a member of the Austrian Security Police, Stapo. Through her, he receives highly sensitive information from an unknown source. That information, when received by the intelligence community, is most upsetting in its accuracy. How does a minor noncom in a small office have access to such stuff? That information deals with events that will change the face of Europe and the Middle East for decades to come.

WALTZING IN THE SHADOWS is an inside look at life in Vienna during the waning years of the Cold War and reminds us of such things as the Gossamer Albatross, ABBA, the DeLorean and The Peanut Farmer versus the rabid rabbit.

Available on @

I need to explain this. I wrote this several years ago as a combination of my actual experiences while stationed at the Embassy in Vienna and a fictional version of what life was like during this interesting (to say the least) time. All of the places in and around Vienna were ones I actually visited and/or took part in. I did change the names of all the characters - except for the office helper named Heni. As far as I can tell, he's since passed away. And, I'm certain he never received the credit he deserved as a vital part of the operation of such a small office. I, of course, scrupulously avoided the mention of anything that might even peripherally be considered at classified information - I don't want Uncle Sam or his minions coming after me.

For those alive during these times - I hope the memories please you.
For those who didn't - I hope you find these events interesting and informative.


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