Honoring Jahoda – Prammer: Witness to Austrian History

Austrian Press Agency (APA) (12/10/2008)

Honoring Jahoda – Prammer: Witness to Austrian History

Grand Decoration in Silver for one expelled in 1939 – Representative of the Claims Conference: Austria has two faces

Vienna – The eighty-two year-old native Viennese, Hans Jahoda, was awarded by the President of the National Council, Barbara Prammer with the Grand Decoration in Silver for Services to the Republic of Austria. At a celebration in Parliament, Prammer said that Jahoda is “a witness to Austria’s and Europe’s history during the 20th century.” Expelled from Austria in 1939, he assumed later on dual Austrian-Israeli citizenship, and served as a representative of the Jewish victim organization, Claims Conference in Austria, in matters of restitution payments, Jahoda explained that for him, Austria has “two faces.”

The one face is that of those unwilling to come to terms with their own past and the question why so many people were willing to support the extermination of 65,000 Austria Jews, whereas the second face is made up of good, courageous people who have asked these kinds of questions – and these are no small minority.

Jahoda, born on May 11, 1926 in Vienna, was a witness to the “Anschluss” and the Reichskristallnacht in 1938 before going into exile in Palestine with the help of a children’s transport. His parents and his sister were sent to Theresienstadt and murdered in Auschwitz. In view of Jahoda’s work in Israel for victims of the Shoah, Prammer hopes that the descendants of Israeli-Austrian dual citizens will be able to obtain dual citizenship.

Attending the celebration were former Federal Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel, former Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik, President of the Jewish Community Vienna Ariel Muzicant, President of the Administrative Court Clemens Jabloner and ombudsman Terzija Stojsits.