I first learned about Eastern Europe and the various nations in the region by watching the Olympics. The 1984 Winter Games in Sarajevo was a formative experience in my life. I hold a B.S. in Political Science and a minor in History with an emphasis on International Affairs. My professional career reconnected me with Eastern Europe when I spent six years guiding tours and developing exhibits at a decommissioned Minuteman Intercontinental Ballistic Missile site that had been designated a National Park. From that point I began to read more widely about Eastern Europe and starting traveling throughout the region. I have now made seventeen trips to Eastern Europe. Much of this blog is the result of those travels. In my professional career, I currently live and work in Canton, Ohio.

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    • It’s in Budapest on Oktober 6th utca (Ocotber 6th street). Not far from Deak Ferenc ter (Ference Deak square) Really like Belgrade as well. I have a post under the Balkans section about Kalmegdan Fortress in Belgrade.

  1. Really, enjoyed this blog as I am also curious about where East meets West. My belief that it is somewhere in the Balkans. Bismark said that the Balkans begin in Southern Vienna, however, as I am currently in Budapest I feel like the line would be somewhere really close to here. I sort of feel like Budapest, if it where a person, would be diagnosed as bi-polar. Budapest’s head (intellect, reason) are in the high society and German culture of Vienna, of which Budapest wants/longs to be (again). But, the heart and soul (emotions/passions) of this place in rooted more in the Balkans-of which Budapest/Hungary cannot escape. The Blue Danube is the artery that connects these two worlds, and, I think, is a logical route of exploration to try to determine where East meets West. I would be curious to hear others opinion, or, if you are traveling now in the area to discuss. schlueradam@gmail.com

  2. Just stumbled across your blog – such interesting and well-crafted articles! I’m currently researching and writing up my father’s WW1 “experience” (he was born in 1892!) serving with the Austro-Hungarian k.u.k. army on the eastern front and in particular Galicia. So I am finding many of your articles and tidbits on books and places to visit in Eastern Europe very stimulating. Currently planning my next trip to Hungary this July/August and really want to visit places such as Kosice, Przemyl, Lviv and of course Püspökladány!
    Wellington, New Zealand

  3. Yes, I have hard data from the annual Austro-Hungarian k.u.k. army officers lists available online that he served with IR67, Traindivision nr. 6, IR68 and IR65. I also have two medal citations from the Kreigsarchiv in Vienna (which I visited a couple of years ago) providing great info. I’m working my way through the plentiful English-language books now available on the Eastern Front and Stan Hanna’s wonderful translation of the massive 7 volume Austrian official history (OULK) with campaign maps etc. So I am slowly piecing together where my father’s units were at various times during WW1 and thus which campaigns and battles he probably “experienced”. Of course I can’t be sure but it’s a fascinating, time-consuming exercise for an amateur historian. This August I hope to return to Hungary and also explore some of the west Galicia areas in Slovakia and southern Poland. Kosice, parts of the Carpathians, Przemysl, maybe Lviv etc. So any tips or or references to some of your previous articles would be most welcome, thank you!

  4. Dear Fortchoteau
    Thankyou, your blog is really excellent and I. for one, think you write very well. Your posts on the eastern front campaign of 1914-1915 are very interesting. My personal interest? I’m an ex-military Australian now living in Tarnow, Poland. Yes, you read right: Australian, not Austrian, and Tarnow, Southern Poland. The many military cemeteries around here on the “Gorlce ” front bear witness to the fighting of an almost forgotten part of the first world war. I had done a lot of reading on the Western Front and Gallipoli (for obvious reasons) and explored both battlefields extensively, especially the Dardanelles. But the clashes between the Austro-Hungarian empire and the Russian empire, this was another matter!
    I often think about these vanished empires when I walk or drive past some of the 1st world war cemeteries in my own home town. So many names of soldiers from vanished regiments fighting for vanished empires…sic transit gloria mundi…

    Ron T

  5. I would like to cite your report “A Second Stalingrad … Siege of Budapest Tour” in a privately published book, not for sale, how would you like to be listed as the author, Forchoteau1 or CJ Wil.. Thanks

  6. I was ROTFL, reading your description of the Debrecen railway—-so very true. Regarding why the book didn’t mention much about the former station could very well be that it was a painful loss, but perhaps because it was a functional building, unlike the Ispotaly templom (website included below), which was both an orphanage and a school open to the public.

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