Vienna Wiesenthal Institute Makes Progress towards Full Operation

Austrian Federal Chancellery (01/18/2010)

After a turbulent year, the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI) is taking an important step towards full operation. In February the go-ahead will be given for digitalization of the documents made available by the Jewish Community of Vienna (IKG).

In 2009 a conflict arose between Jewish Community President Ariel Muzikant and the founding head of the Institute, Anton Pelinka, on the use of the archives for research purposes. In the wake of this dispute, the previous Executive Committee resigned. As the new VWI Chairman of the Executive Committee, Georg Graf, recently stressed, the conflict has been resolved.

The members of the Academic Advisory Board, who had also resigned, will be back on board (new appointment in 2010). As the Executive Committee member Bertrand Perz explained, the Jewish Community had agreed to make all the material relevant to the Holocaust available. The new VWI Business Manager is contemporary historian Bela Rasky with a proven track of international experience.

The Vienna Wiesenthal Institute, predominantly financed by the Federal Republic and the municipality of Vienna, is expected to become fully operational at Palais Strozzi in Vienna’s Josefstädterstraße in 2012.