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.

The highlight of the event was the installation - socalled “Denk.Mal-Werke” - erected by those participating in the project, “A Letter to the Stars.” Music, film and excerpts from texts accompanied the event. Mounted posters were unveiled depicting survivors as “last witnesses” who offered their personal message and legacy to Austrian youth. Afterwards, the survivors - who through the project were connected with numerous school children - were met by their hosts and led to the commemorative posters and to the hosts of the school classes. Many school children, who had travelled from various parts of the country, had the opportunity of speaking with their guests undisturbed in rooms especially organized for that purpose.