Simon Wiesenthal is known to this day as the person who dedicated his life to seeking justice for the victims of the Shoah and as the man who tracked down Adolf Eichmann. Before the occupation of Poland and his persecution by the Nazis, Wiesenthal worked as an architect. During his detention at the Mauthausen concentration camp, he met the Polish coffee merchant Edmund Staniszewski, who secretly supplied him with bread for survival. Staniszewski wanted to open a coffee house in Poznan after the war and asked Simon Wiesenthal to design “Café As” (“Café Ace”). Wiesenthal made initial sketches for the café, advertisements, cake decorations and even designs for the waiters’ uniforms—everything we call a “corporate identity” today. After the liberation of the concentration camp, Wiesenthal worked on the drawings, which he made based on sketches from Mauthausen, from May to July 1945. However, “Café As” never opened.
The set of 80 detailed plans and drawings for “Café As” was acquired by the Jewish Museum Vienna from the estate of Edmund Staniszewski for its collections with the support of the “US Friends of the Jewish Museum Vienna.” It is a unique and significant testimony of survival in the murderous system of National Socialism.
Curator: Michaela Vocelka