"Lueger, at fifty-five, felt himself very much a part of the new century"
Karl Lueger
Public DomainKarl Lueger

     Karl Lueger (1844-1910) was mayor of Vienna from 1897 until his death due to complications from diabetes. Franz Josef repeatedly refused to to confirm his election as mayor. This was due, in part, because he feared that Lueger's anti-Semitism, which had propelled him into office, would undermine the laws guaranteeing equality to all citizens of the Empire. Pope Leo XIII personally interceded on Lueger's behalf. As a result, Lueger had no love for the monarchy or the monarch. Although Lueger used anti-Semitism as the basis for his popularity, once in office he appointed several Jews, replying to his critics, "I'll decide who is a Jew." Known as Der Schöne Karl/Handsome Karl, he was a popular mayor. He is credited with great improvements in Vienna's infrastructure from gas and water to public transportation. A portion of the Ringstrasse was named after him but in 2012, after years of protest against his anti-Semitism and its influence on Nazi ideology (Hitler referred to him in Mein Kampf as "the greatest German mayor of all times."), this portion of the Ring was re-named University Ring.