At a Glance
Central Europe is an area whose boundaries seem to be shaped more by historical, social and cultural identity than physical borders. It almost always includes Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia. The region generally includes Switzerland, Germany, Liechtenstein and Poland. Still others argue that parts of Croatia, Serbia, Ukraine and the even the Transylvania section of Romania are considered part of Central Europe. What no one is questioning, though, is the cultural contributions that have come from this area, some of which we may take for granted. Mitteleuropa, as Central Europe is referred to in Germanic, includes the metropolitan triangle that is Prague-Vienna-Budapest. Its high culture includes musical achievements such as Viennese waltzes, along with the works of Chopin and Mozart. It was the home of psychologists such as Freud and Jung. This region is also one of ‘everyday’ culture like wiener schnitzel, strudel and goulash, as well as recognized names from Dracula to Schwarzenegger. Through emigration, Central Europe has had a widespread impact on the culture of the United States. Join economist and sociologist Zoltán Pogátsa in rediscovering this fascinating region of the world.