Südbahnhotel - Photographs

  • Jewish Museum Vienna 8 Judenplatz Wien, 1010 Austria

September 10, 2014 to January 2015

Südbahnhotel – am Zauberberg der Abwesenheit. Photographs by Yvonne Oswald


Südbahnhotel is a symbol of a modern and artistically inspiring epoch. The creativity of artists like Arthur Schnitzler, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Karl Kraus, Alfred Polgar, Peter Altenberg, Gustav Mahler, Franz Werfel, Stefan Zweig, Sigmund Freud, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Felix Salten or Robert Musil is closely connected with Semmering. Just 75 years after a railway opened up the region, the Nazis declared that Semmering was “free of Jews.” After World War II Semmering was never able to emulate its former glory. The earlier guests were no longer there – and their absence left a vacuum. The photographer Yvonne Oswald has undertaken an intensive four-year photographic exploration to capture the residual aura within the hotel. What remained in Südbahnhotel of the animated fin-de-siècle society? Das Südbahnhotel is a photographic/artistic work on the largest and, in its historical context, most important surviving palace hotel in Central Europe. It is also a metaphor for the vacuum that has been left through the murder and expulsion of the Jews. The Salzburg-born artist Yvonne Oswald studied graphic design, painting, and photography in Vienna, Paris, and New York, and her photos appear regularly in international magazines. Apart from her exhibition activities, she has also published eight books.

For more details see: Jewish Museum Vienna