New Memorial Stones as Reminder of the Fate of Jewish Residents in Leopoldstadt

Austrian Press Agency (04/27/2010)

Vienna – The residents of a residential building placed “memorial stones” before the City of Vienna’s renewal project located at Große Stadtgut-Gasse.

City renewal usually has an historical context and deals with the structure or architectural aspects of a building or, as with the city’s renewal project, Große Stadtgut Gasse 14 in Vienna’s Leopoldstadt, with the history of the former residents of a building complex.

In poor structural condition, the apartment building located at Große Stadtgut-Gasse 14 was considered a few years ago still to be one of the most rumored “problemetical building complexes” in Vienna. Only after the building was purchased by GEWOG property development, which together with its subsidiary at-home Real Estate, could the complicated economic and legal problems be resolved and the complex turned into a new development project with livable housing space.

Not only the structural history of the property had its dark chapters, but also much more the history of the Jewish residents who, during the NS era, were housed in the former apartment complex in so-called “Sammelwohnungen” (collection depot) under terrible conditions which served as a transit station before being deported and murdered.

The new residents of the Große Stadtgut-Gasse created an initiative, whereby two memorial stones were financed by the buildings’ residents as well as GEWOG. These “memorial stones,” which were set into the sidewalk, stem from a tradition which Elisabeth ben David-Hindler initiated in Vienna. “For many relatives of Jewish victims of the Holocaust, these “memorial stones” serve an essential function of remembering family members.”

 The inscription reads: “In remembrance of the nineteen Jewish women and men who lived here and were murdered by the Nazis.” Mentioned are the names of Siegfried Feigl, Stella Feigl, Helene Feigl and Maria Kohn, representing these people.