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Lorenz Leopold Haschka

Haschka, LORENZ LEOPOLD, the poet-author of the Austrian national anthem; b. at Vienna, September 1, 1749; d. there, August 3, 1827; was in his youth a member of the Society of Jesus. On the suppression of the Society (1773) he devoted himself, in secular life, to poetry; this was now to become his vocation and his means of livelihood. His pupil, the wealthy Johann v. Alxinger, the most distinguished of Wieland’s imitators, came to the assistance of the poor instructor. Haschka also found aid in the home of the poetess, Karoline Pichler. Unfortunately, the ex-Jesuit, under the influence of Josephinism, renounced for a time his principles: he became a freemason and wrote venomous odes against the papacy, during the presence of Pius VI in Vienna, as well as against the religious orders. He returned, however, to his Catholic sentiments after the death of Joseph II, and was selected to compose a national anthem, which was first sung on February 12, 1797, at the celebration of Emperor Francis’s birthday. Haschka was given a position as assistant in the library of the university of Vienna and was made instructor in aesthetics in the newly founded Theresianum. He retired in 1824. As a poet, he belongs to the group of poet-musicians.

N. SCHEID


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