Is Mitteleuropa a place, an idea, or a myth? Geographically, Central Europe is roughly congruous with the bygone Habsburg Empire. It ranged eastward from Salzburg in the west to Cracow in Poland and Lemberg/Lviv in Ukraine. Its grand metropolitan centers were Vienna, Prague, and Budapest, rivaling if not outdoing Berlin in its glory days between Bismarck and Der Führer.
So much for the maps. But this space was also an idea and a state of mind, a multinational, multicultural cauldron bubbling with imagination and achievement. The fire underneath was extinguished by Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. Habsburg is now