Trafika Europe 1 - Northern Idyll
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170

put the best face on it. Make the most of this moment, Frau

Gödel!” I dressed before waking him with a kiss.

He had given me a free hand with the wedding. I was used

to that kind of decision making: “Take care of the details!” I

was logistics, and logistics I would remain. Kurt was deeply

absorbed in preparing his next course of lectures at Notre

Dame University in the United States. After teaching for a

year in Vienna, he had been given his university’s

permission to teach elsewhere. He’d accepted an invitation

from his friend Karl Menger in Indiana and another from

Abraham Flexner at Princeton. His departure had been

planned as far back as January, despite the uncertainties of

this chaotic time. Kurt didn’t seem to worry about it. After

a few months of euphoric concentration, reassured of

having recovered his ability to work, he looked forward

eagerly to leaving Austria.

Our sudden decision to marry surprised my own family and

the few close friends who knew about our affair. The

“festivities” would not strain our budget unduly: the civil

ceremony would be followed by a simple meal, attended by

my parents, my sisters, and Kurt’s brother, Rudolf. The

witnesses would be Karl Gödel, a cousin of Kurt’s father,

and Hermann Lortzing, an accountant friend. A person’s

absence can, in some cases, be more humiliating even than

their hostile presence: his mother declined our invitation.

His closest colleagues, for their part, had almost all left

Europe.