Dear Readers,

In Austria, the past few months have been marked by events in observance of the Anschluss seventy years ago and the following years of the NS terror regime which signified the beginning of persecution, displacement and murdering of Austrian Jews in the Shoah. Numerous events, including those held in the Austrian Parliament, marked the remembrance of the many victims of the Holocaust.

Contemporary witnesses participated actively in lectures and academic events and many schools dedicated events to this topic.  A particularly valuable contribution in this field  is the high school project, “Letter to the Stars,” which provided the opportunity for high school students to meet with Holocaust survivors over the last few years. Recently, some 200 Holocaust survivors throughout the entire world were invited to Austria for the 'Year of Commemoration' in order to relate their memories to young people and attend the commemoration event in remembrance of the 63rd year of the liberation of Mauthausen concentration camp.

We are happy to provide you with a broad range of articles that were published in the Austrian media. Topics include also the recent opening of the newly built Hakoah Sports Center, as well as cultural events and restitution issues.

Yours sincerely,

Wolfgang Renezeder
Director of the Press & Information Service
Embassy of Austria


1.   Current Events, Symposia and Cultural News
•    Austria Commemorates 70th Anniversary of the “Anschluss” (Austrian Federal Chancellery)
•    School Children Receive Holocaust Survivors at Heldenplatz (Austrian Press Agency)
•    Profuse Words and Silent Remembrance (Der Standard)
•    Commemorating the Liberation of Mauthausen concentration camp (Austrian Federal Chancellery)
•    Government Announces Wiesenthal Center (Der Standard)
•    State Secretary Hans Winkler on Austria’s Assuming the Chairmanship of the International Holocaust Task Force(Austrian Foreign Ministry)
•    In Remembrance of the Children’s Rescue Operation) (Profil)
•    “Only one Photo! Only a Photo!” (Die Presse)
•    “Listen, Israel“ in Burgenland during Roman Times (Die Presse)
•    The Expulsion of the Intellectuals (Profil)
•    Sports Center Hakoah: Coming Home After Seventy Years (Der Standard)
•    From Feeling Ashamed to Loving Vienna (Die Presse) An Enthusiastic Admirer of the Führer (Die Presse)
•    A Contemporary Witness for All Alike (Die Presse)
•    Berggasse 19, Salzgries 16: It’s All about Freud! (Die Presse)
•    The Vienna Project on Austrian Jews in Buenos Aires (Austrian Press Agency)

2.   Publications, Books
•    Vienna Lectures and Book Remember “Annihilation of the Intellect” (Austrian Press Agency)
•    “Expedition from Herzl to Hakoah” (Der Standard)

3.    Restitution
•    Amendment to Restitution Law to be Adopted Before Summer (Austrian Federal  Chancellery)
•     “Clearly Stolen Art!” (Die Presse)

4.    Austrian – Israeli Relations
•    Austria and Israel Strengthen Research Cooperation (Austrian Federal  Chancellery)
•    Foreign Minister on 60th Anniversary of the Foundation of the State of Israel (Austrian Foreign Ministry)

Austria Commemorates 70th Anniversary of the “Anschluss”

Austrian Federal Chancellery (03/17/2008)

On March 12, 1938, German troops crossed over the borders into Austria thereby annexing Austria to Hitler Germany. Under the pressure of a German ultimatum, Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg had already resigned on the eve of the event.  On March 15, 2008, Hitler delivered his notorious speech to a cheering crowd of 250,000 people at Vienna’s Heldenplatz and announced that the “Ostmark” (Eastern areas to be taken over by Germany, i.e. Austria) would become part of the German Reich. The invasion of German troops marked the beginning of an unprecedented terror implemented against all Jews and dissidents. Based on estimates, no less than 70,000 to 80,000 people were arrested during the first six months.

School Children Receive Holocaust Survivors at Heldenplatz

Austrian Press Agency (APA) (05/05/2008)

Project “A Letter to the Stars” Remembers the Liberation of Mauthausen

Vienna – Participants in the project, “A Letter to the Stars,” held a commemoration on Monday at Heldenplatz in remembrance of the 63rd year observance of the liberation of Mauthausen concentration camp. According to the organizer, 10,000 visitors were present to give the victims of NS terror “a voice and a face.” Following the commemoration, some 200 survivors were invited to visit Parliament to meet with Austrian school childen.  Federal President Heniz Fischer, Federal Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer and Deputy-Chancellor Wilhelm Moleterer also participated.

Commemorating the Liberation of Mauthausen Concentration Camp

Austrian Federal Chancellery (05/13/2008)

Leading personalities of the Republic of Austria commemorated the youngest victims of the Nazi regime under the motto, “I have never been a child“ and celebrated the Memorial Day against Violence and Racism on May 5, 2008. The ceremony held in commemoration of the 63rd Anniversary of the Liberation of the Mauthausen concentration camp took place in the festive hall (“Reichsratssitzungssaal”) of the Houses of Parliament. Among the attendees were not only President Heinz Fischer, members of the government and Parliament and representatives of the religious communities, but also numerous Holocaust survivors.

State Secretary Hans Winkler on Austria’s Assuming the Chairmanship of the International Holocaust Task Force

Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs (03/14/2008)

Vienna,– "What we need is a genuine culture of remembrance, a targeted and exemplary remembrance of the causes and sheer unthinkable consequences of National Socialism. In addition to an unbiased engagement with the facts of the past, it is also necessary to show all victims and cases of injustice due respect and sympathy. We must become aware of our history and learn for the present and the future," said State Secretary Hans Winkler, commenting on Austria’s assuming the Chairmanship of the International Holocaust Task Force.

“Only one Photo! Only a Photo!”

Norbert Mayer

Die Presse (03/19/2008)

Jewish Museum. “Life!” – a colorful cross-section through contemporary history of Jewish Vienna.

The exhibition, “Life! Jews in Vienna after 1945,” which can be seen as of this Wednesday until June 22 in the Jewish Museum, is layed out like a garden. Some 2,000 private photos are exhibited, most of them in color, and they are like an undulating garden of flowers. Every individual picture is attached to a support anchored into the floor; diverse groups and sub-groups offer the effect of a blooming aggregate – the prominent, the orthodox, newcomers from the former Soviet Union and from countries belonging to the former Habsburg Empire - who came to Vienna after 1945 to rebuild. It is seldom to see so much joy and character in such concentrated form. The pictures are so natural and personal that one feels a bit like a voyeur.

A Contemporary Witness for All Alike

Patricia Käfer

Die Presse (03/26/2008)

Concentration camp survivor Rudolf Gelbard visits places spent during his life in Vienna, along with Theresienstadt.

Today people live where the concentration camp of Thereisenstadt once stood. Children are riding bicycles on its former streets that have now been repaired. Rudolf Gelbard was also once such a child in 1942. He was twelve years old. He remembers that during a street fight with members of the Hitler youth, he was called a “Jew boy” and given a “kick from behind” so that Gelbard would be aware of his place within the hierarchy. He also had to wear the yellow star.

Berggasse 19, Salzgries 16: It’s All about Freud!

Thomas Kramer

Die Presse (03/12/2008)

Vienna – The five treatment rooms are not furnished with the traditional couch in oriental pattern but rather very simple beds, and  the lecture hall has only a very plain  chair. The new Psychoanalytical Center in Vienna’s Salzgries 16 was ceremoniously opened on Monday. The year was doubly historical in that 1908 marked the founding of the Vienna Psychoanalytical Association and 1938 the expulsion of psychoanalysis from Austria by NS terror.

The Vienna Project on Austrian Jews in Buenos Aires

Austrian Press Agency (04/23/2008)

A two-week cultural event takes place in Argentina in Fall – Coming to terms with the past through contributions by Austrian artists

Vienna – In Argentina’s capital city of Buenos Aires, the image of Austria as being a breeding ground for anti-Semitism is still widely spread. That’s the feeling conveyed   by private initiators of the project, “Lost Neighborhood Buenos Aires – Vienna 2008,” during a press conference when presenting the project. In order to correct this notion and to further coming to terms with the past surrounding the ‘Night of the Pogrom’ or so-called ‘Kristallnacht’ in 1938, there will be two weeks of literary and musical events in Buenos Aires  from October 26 – November 9 in attempt at achieving reconciliation.

Vienna Lectures and Book Remember “Annihilation of the Intellect”

Austrian Press Agency (03/04/2008)

Lectures, books and exhibitions on the annexation of Austria seventy years ago

Vienna – On the occasion of the annexation of Austria to Hitler Germany seventy years ago, a series of events are being held in remembrance of the explusion of reason. A seven-part series of lectures beginning on March 13 and entitled, “Departure 1938,” will highlight the flight of many intellectuals and scientists from Austria.  A new book by Vienna contemporary historians will analyze how the University of Vienna dealt with Jewish students following the annexation.

“Expedition from Herzl to Hakoah”

Der Standard (05/19/2008)

Vienna is Jewish; Vienna was always Jewish and Vienna will also always be linked with Jewish history

Whoever does his shopping on a Saturday at Karmelitermarkt in Vienna’s Leopoldstadt district notices that Vienna, as we know it today, is clearly defined by Jewish history and tradition. Whether Orthodox Jews with black hats and sidelocks are discussing on the corner or whether names such as Café “Tachles,” located not far from Karmeliterplatz, remind one of Jewish culture…..