The Mises-Hayek walking tour of Vienna on Sept. 28 took place as part of the FreedomFest Austrian Economics cruise down the blue Danube River.
The tour, arranged by Barbara Kolm, director of the Austrian Economics Center in Vienna, Austria, attracted around 25 FreedomFest attendees. It made for a busy day.
After visiting the magnificent Fine Arts Museum, we toured two private banks in Austria, Bank Winter and Wiener PrivatBank. Then we began an historic walking tour in the footsteps of Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek, the two giants of the Austrian school of economics. Both attended the University of Vienna, but were forced to leave after the Nazis took over in the late 1930s. Mises went to America to teach at New York University and Hayek to England to teach at the London School of Economics (LSE).
Highlights of the Mises-Hayek Walking Tour
Dr. Richard Zundritsch, great grandnephew of Friedrich Hayek, was our tour guide, taking us to the Chamber of Commerce, the University of Vienna and the various restaurants and cafes that Mises and Hayek frequented. He told the story of hyper-inflation in Austria in the early 1920s. In one year’s time, Hayek’s salary went from 5,000 marks to 1 million marks!
When government officials came to Mises’s office at the Chamber of Commerce and asked him how to solve the inflation problem in Austria in the early 1920s, he invited them to visit a particular building at midnight. It was a strange request, but they agreed to meet him there. When they arrived, they noticed that a loud noise was coming from the building. Mises said, “You want to stop the inflation?” He then pointed to the building and said, “Stop that noise.” The building housed the printing press where the nation’s currency was being printed in abundance.
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