Jewish Community is Declining

The President of the Israelite Religious Community, Ariel Muzicant, warns that the Jewish Community in Austria may be dying out. "We are living in a community which is declining with some mere 7,000-8,000 members", said Muzicant at the opening of a memorial in the Viennese municipal temple for 65,000 Jewish victims of Nazi terror. If a miracle doesn’t happen soon, the Jewish community in Austria will no longer exist in the foreseeable future. Muzicant has repeatedly spoken out about more Jewish immigration.

Chief Rabbi Paul Chaim Eisenberg reminded of "how important it is for us Jews to have a dignified and eternal grave". The memorial is a "symbolic tomb" for all Austrian Jews who were killed by the Nazis. Whereas the memorial on Judenplatz symbolizes the Holocaust in its entirety, the newly opened memorial in the temple is a commemoration of 65,000 individual human fates.

Austrian Federal President Thomas Klestil, President of the National Council Heinz Fischer and Vienna’s Mayor Michael Häüpl attended the official opening. Likewise Suffragan Bishop Helmut Krätzl from the Catholic Church as well as Bishop Herwig Sturm from the Evangelical Church were also represented.