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VWW: made you look - Jewish Memorial culture in Wien

  • Mi. 02.08.2023
  • 10:00 — 14:00
  • 4 h 0 mins
  • 50 für die gesamte Woche, oder €10 pro Walk. Kinder U14 gratis. Es gibt kein Reservierung. Bitte punktlich vor ort zu sein.
  • 15., Herklotzg. 21, Turnhalle (3 mins walk from U6 Gumpendorferstr)
  • Google Maps
  • German

This is a critical look at how Vienna remembers - or ignores - its Jewish heritage and trauma.

So much of our city’s creative dynamism came out of Jewish culture, and we are still missing some of the humour, ambition and curiosity they brought to our home town.

Not all memorial culture is official, and it does not need to be respectful. Songs, demonstrations, films, newspaper articles, posters, novels and badges represent contemporary – and often cool – remembrance. We need more of that, says Eugene. He lives in Leopoldstadt, historically the ghetto, and still the heart, of Jewish culture in our city.

How do we celebrate the story of Stefan Zweig, Hedy Lamarr, Sigmund Freud and Hugo Breitner?

It can be dangerous to leave historical marking to the national government, since they have a different agenda, and sometimes choose to ignore the details.

In fact there are more post-war Jewish heroes than most Viennese know about: Simon Wiesenthal, Bruno Kreisky, Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Elizabeth T Spira, Elfriede Jelinek, Andre Heller and Michael Landau.

So what will we visit on this unusual stroll: Turnhalle in Rudolfsheim, Kindertransportdenkmal in Westbahnhof, art project from Kunst im Öffentlicher Raum, Haus des Meeres, bomb damage on Akademie (with inscription), human rights table, Albertinaplatz Hrdlicka sculpture, list of all Jewish victims in front of Nationalbank, Holocaust Memorial on Judenplatz, central synagogue to remember two terrorist attacks, Wiesenthal Centre, resistance monument on Morzinplatz (with museum/archive), and a Stolperstein.

If you visit Munich, Berlin or Nürnberg, you can explore second world war in lots of detail. But if you visit Vienna, you can explore Mozart in lots of detail. This is a missed opportunity, and enables the far-right Freedom Party to their astonishing continuing popularity in Austria.

People around the world are surprised to discover that there is a jewish population of Germany and Austria now, and so we also choose to look to the present and future.

Eugene has long dreamed of staging a project called Gefilte Flak… The memorials of the Holocaust and Vienna's lost Jews are mostly traumatic and sad. But we want to recreate the Kosher food of the original community, bringing visitors and residents into dialogue, while enjoying interesting and unusual central-European dining. Whereas most monuments are cold stone, we want - through social design - to remember the vitality and curiosity of our city before second world war. Many Austrians choose to forget the contribution of the Jewish people, and still vote for far-right parties, so we want to send out another signal. And we present the event on Haus des Meeres, originally a Nazi gun attack tower, as a symbolic space. #gefilteFlak