Only Makeshift Remembrance for Murdered Jews of Maly Trostinec

Der Standard (Online), June 9, 2017.
German original:

Vienna – Between November 2016 and October 2017, the supporters of the non-profit „Im-Mer Maly Trostinec erinnern“ commemorate the mass deportation of Jews by the National Socialists 75 years ago through 10 marches from Kleine Sperlgasse to Judenplatz in Vienna’s Second District. Between November 1941 and October 1942, 13,500 people were deported in ten transports.  Most of them were brought directly to a wooded area close to the small village of Maly Trostinec in today’s Belarus. There, they were shot or suffocated in gas carriages.


Reading of Names

To commemorate these people, participants in today’s marches read out the names of the deported before the Memorial of the Austrian Victims of the Shoa at Judenplatz. Until now, the names were also left there, printed on laminated slips of paper, underneath a bowl weighed down with stones. This was sort of an anticipation of the memorial for those murdered in the Belarussian village, which has been called for by Waltraud Barton, chairwoman of the Maly-Trostinec initiative. The Austrian National Council voted unanimously for such a memorial in October 2016, but without a corresponding budget.

This makeshift commemoration practice was ended this week due to bad weather. On Tuesday night, a storm over Vienna stirred up the slips of paper and distributed them all over the square. The next day, passers-by were stepping on the slips without care, said Danielle Spera, director of the Jewish Museum Vienna and a supporter of the memorial: „This hurt my soul.“ Barton asked a colleague in writing to „recollect the slips of paper and the stones, so the Memorial and Judenplatz look orderly and well-tended again.“


Open Letter

Barton did that. Now she has asked the federal chancellor, the Austrian federal government, as well as the Viennese state government to urgently finance the memorial in Maly Trostinec: „Without a memorial with the names on it, those murdered remain what they were made into 75 years ago – castaways.“