Austria Trapped in the Eye of the Storm

An ever more isolated Waldheim awaits the historians' verdict

In the baroque splendor of his 18th century offices, Kurt Waldheim entertains few visitors. The Austrian President spends his days huddling with aides -- dubbed the "bunker boys" by sharp-tongued colleagues -- or performing ceremonial functions. He lingers at receptions, hoping that people will talk to him and, more important, be seen talking to him. Asked whether Waldheim would be welcome at the royal court in Stockholm, Swedish Foreign Minister Sten Andersson diplomatically replied, "The problem does not arise. His Majesty's program is booked solid for years, and your question is therefore purely academic."

Waldheim's plight, though, is a painfully public...

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