Jewish Museum Hohenems website (07/25/2009)
Bregenz/Vienna – Due to strong public interest, the exhibition “Have you Seen My Alps? – A Jewish Love Story“ in the Jewish Museum of Hohenems will be prolonged until November 15. From December 16, 2009 – March 15, 2010, it can be seen at Vienna’s Jewish Museum.
The exhibition "Have You Seen My Alps? — A Jewish Love Story" highlights for the first time the significance of Jewish mountaineers and artists, tourism pioneers and intellectuals, researchers and collectors as well as their role in the discovery and development of the Alps as a universal cultural and natural heritage.
The experience of the mountains as places of spirituality and sensuality is linked in multiple ways to the Jewish experience and Jewish entry into Europe’s societies. Ever since Moses, the “first” mountaineer in history, Jews have searched at the threshold between heaven and earth, between nature and spirit for spiritual experiences and for the laws and boundaries of reason.
The exhibition tells about the areas of conflict in Alpinism: – from the significance of the Alps for the Jewish Diaspora to the perception of Jewish Alpinism by the Austrian, German, and Swiss societies – from the tracht controversy to the Aryanization of the Alpine Association and the Austrian Ski Association – about the antagonism between a humanistic perception of Alpine traditions and folklore and an excessive racist nationalism – and about the transformation of the mountains as a place of spiritual experience into a site of persecution and escape in National Socialism.
“The Alps are no longer ‘Europe’s playground,’ but an army training field, nature’s splendid stage is not a ‘moral‘ but a military institution,“ as the Viennese mountaineer and musician, Josef Braunstein, wrote in 1936, before his emigration to the US. Here, he had more in mind than just the “battle” around the Eiger North Wall. For more information, see: http://www.jm-hohenems.at)