The Honorary Consulate of Austria

in Seattle, WA

For Washington, Idaho, and Montana

World Trade Center Seattle,

2200 Alaskan Way, Suite 410

Seattle, WA 98121

(meetings by appointments only)

Tel: +1 425-395-4382

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Refugee Crisis in Europe: Austria is Helping

2015 Facts of the refugee crisis: (source: Österreichischer Integrationsfond:

Worldwide approximately 60 million people were fleeing their countries, more than ever before.

About 1 million people came to Europe, about half of them traveled along the West Balkan route. Most of these refugees are seeking asylum in Germany, Austria and Sweden.

 95,000 refugees applied for asylum in Austria, that is 3 times as many as in 2014 and about the same compared with the combined number from 2002-2012. That is about the same per capita ratio as Germany has accommodated.

Most of the refugees staying in Austria are coming from war torn Middle East: Syria: 30%, Afghanistan: 24%, Iraq: 16%. About 10% of the petitions came from children under 18 who came without parents or family members.

Austria developed a 50 step plan to deal with this challenging situation addressing language, education, work, job, and cultural exchange, including raising awareness about central values (like separation of religion and state, equal standing of man and woman), and other facts regarding the everyday life. The City of Vienna called on its residents to open their homes to welcome those who are seeking refuge: “Wir haben ein Zimmer frei, Sie auch?” the city is organizing and coordinating the apartment and shelter exchange initiative.

Vienna: one of the safest cities around the world: 9 out of 10 Viennese are feel safe in their city, according to one of the largest surveys conducted in fall 2015.


Please click here for the latest issues of "Informationen aus Österreich" 

January (1) -1/16          December (2) - 22/15           

A service of the Bundeskanzleramt to keep all Auslandssterreicher updated on what is going on in Austria. For all archived previous issues please go to:


Austria Club of Washington:

For events and meeting friends of Austria, please contact the Austria Club of Washington:     


Austrian-American Council, WA State Chapter:

President: Michael Brandstetter:


Save the date for the event of the year, organized by the Austria Club of Washington:

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Saturday, March 12, 2016, @ Nile Country Club

Black Tie Dinner and Dance: Dance shows, elegant dinner, musical performances, dancing until midnight and much much more!

  • Everyone is invited! Get your dresses out of the closet, get the tuxes checked out for fit, practice some waltz steps!
  • Tickets through or mail in reservation form
  • Need a dance refresher? Sign up for a complimentary dance lesson right before the event!
  • Want to participate in the polonaise: contact Norbert Hertl
  • For more information please see the invitation or the Austria Club Website


Aktuelles – News for January 2016


With the best wishes for a happy, healthy, peaceful and successful 2016



Please mark your calendar for following interesting events in January:

-> Friday, January 22, 2016:

A Viennese New Year Concert

Operetta Gala

featuring young soprano Christine Menschner

7:30 pm, @ Music Center of the Northwest, 901 North 96th Street, Seattle, WA. Tickets at the door only


-> Friday, January 29 - Sunday, January 31, 2016                      



Members of the Austrian Community are invited to participate in this exchange of ideas and networking among creative people, especially with European background or connections. Please contact Michael Brandstetter, , President of the Austrian American Council, or the Honorary Consulate for further information on serving as a coach, judge or participate!





Past Events in 2015:

Sunday, December 6, 1-5pm, Benson Barn, North Bend


organized by the Austria Club of Washington

Felt just like being in an Alpine village during Advent, friends brought their families, and enjoyed Austrian traditions surrounding Christmas time, from Gluehwein, St. Nikolaus, potluck, to Alpine holiday music.  Many thanks to the Austria Club and all the tireless helpers for organizing this gemuetiche Fest!


Sunday, October 25, 2015: 2-5pm @ German House:

Austrian National Holiday Celebration

60 Years if Independence, Neutrality and Sovereignty!

On May 15, 1955, after 10 years of occupation and at in a rare moment in history, Soviet Union, Great Britain, England and United States signed the declaration of Independence, and Bundeskanzler Leopold Figl declared form the balcony of the Belvedere: Österreich ist Frei!!!

6 months later Austria declared permanent Neutrality. We celebrated this final step towards freedom by listening to reports of "Zeitzeugen", sharing stories, music, Austrian dessert and wine. Thank you all for contributing to a wonderful event and a better understanding of history.

We also used this event to express out Thank You to the families and individuals who offered tremendous help for the Derschmidt Family during the times of crisis.

Thank you Sissy Altom for providing the most delicious K&K Zwetschkenkuschen!


Saturday, October 10, 2015:  Oktoberfest

organized by the Austria Club of Washington.


Uncut: Austrian president on Europe's refugee crisis: on Sep. 30, 2015 President of Austria Heinz Fischer went 'On the Record' on the reasons behind Europe's refugee crisis and what can be done to help:



September 27: 2-5 pm @ German House:

Austrian-American-Day Celebration

in recognition of the 18th Anniversary of the Proclamation of the Austrian-American Day by then President Bill Clinton. We honored retiring president of the WA Chapter of the Austrian-American-Council Claire Rood and introducing the new president, Michael Brandstetter. Among our destinguished guests were Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, several memebrs of the WA Consular Association , guest speaker Bruno Kracher, CEO Vienna Region, office of Marketing of the Vienna Region.


September 24, 6pm @ Edgewater Hotel:

VIENNA REGION - Innovation & Technology in Central Europe

The Marketing Office of the Vienna Region hosted an event to promote the Region around Vienna as attractive business location. Participants of the business community used this unique opportunity for networkingtogether with COE Bruno Kracher, Harald Leitenmueller (Microsoft Austria),  Moritz Plassnig (Global Technology Boston/Vienna), Dr. Rudolf Thaler (Austrian Trade Commissioner)


September 12 @ the Queen Anne Christian Church, 1316 3rd Ave W, Seattle:   "Vienna to Broadway: A Musical Metamorphosis".

Soprano Christine Menschner and Tenor Derek Sellers accompanied by pianist Jason Suchan gave a startling performance.  Christine entertained us already with her beautiful voice at the last Viennese Ball. It is exciting to see the career of this young, very talented artist evolving.





Für Reisepass und Visa Angelegenheiten oder in Notfällen bitte kontaktieren Sie das Österreichische Generalkonsulat in Los Angeles unter +1 310-444-9310 oder auf

For passport and visa matters, or in case of emergency, kindly contact the Austrian Consulate General in Los Angeles at 310-444-9310 or consult

Herzlichst    Eva Kammel

Honorary Consul



Past Events in 2015 continued:

July 16: Special Movie Night"WOMAN IN GOLD" organized by the Austria Club with gemuetliches get-together afterwards


May 28-29, 2015:

Honorarkonsulartagung in Wien , Reflections

End of May I had the privilege to participate inthe Honorarkonsultagung in Vienna, a get-together of Honorary Consuls from around the world arranged every 10 years by the Aussenministerium. Out of the 300 HCs world wide about 1/2 of them could join.  It was very well organized, we got a thorough update on what is happening in Austria and our duties as HC. We were treated with delicious authentic Austrian food, an elegant dinner at the Naturhistorischem Museum with a nightly view of the glistering city from the roof top of the Museum, a trip to the Wachau, and many more exciting moments. Highlights included a visit with the Austrian President Dr. Fischer and the Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz. It was an inspiring and fun time we could spend in Vienna deepening our commitment to Austria and to serving all Austrians in our region.


May 14-15, 2015

Visit of Honorary Consul to Yakima, WA

It was a pleasure to follow an invitation by IWAY (, arranged by longtime Austria Club member Freya Burgstaller, and to give a presentation about Austria, that was preceded by delicious traditional Austrian cuisine, Goulash and Kaiserschmarrn!  Austrian wines, provided graciously by Freya rounded up a very enjoyable evening. A visit of the German language class at West Valley High School provided another possibility to promote highlights about Austria. Freya and the small but vibrant Austrian community in Yakima is hoping for a follow-up visit organized by the Club.


March 11-15, 2015:

Visit of a Delegation to Seattle from the Austrian Consulate General, Los Angeles:

Speaking for the Austrian Community of the greater Seattle area I want to express gratitude to the Austrian Consulate General, Los Angeles, for extending a complete consulate service during the Amtstage March 12-13, 2015. The huge demand showed how much appreciated this service was. Especially we want to thank Ms. Andrea Mais-Siffert for her patient, helpful and professional support to Austrians to get their “paper work” in order.

Busy days included a meeting with the Lt. Governor Brad Owen who arranged thoughtfully that the Austrian Flag was raised during our visit at the Capitol. Trade Commissioner Dr. Rudolf Thaler joined to emphasize the importance of in the economic exchange between Austria and Washington State.

The Österreicher Dinner at the Salmon House was a lovely evening where we could get to know our Honorable Consul General Ulrike Ritzinger.

A luncheon on Friday provided GC Ritzinger the opportunity to meet with other members of the Consular Association of Washington.

Definitely the highlight of this visit was the presence of GC Ritzinger at the 15th Viennese Ball. Her charming, yet natural personality was admired and no icebreaker was needed for many to talk to her, get a photo shoot, or even to dance with her. She brought a piece of “Heimat” to the Northwest.

Herzlichen Dank!