Memorial Book for the Victims of National Socialism
at the University of Vienna in 1938
As of June 30, 2009, the University of Vienna introduced an online database, “Memorial Book for the Victims of Naional Socialism,“ that includes roughly 2,200 names and short biographies of victims – including professors, lecturers and students - who following the advent of the National Socialist regime in 1938 were persecuted, expelled and/or murdered as Jews out of political reasons. Some 1,770 of the approximately 2,230 expelled students of the university have been identified by name thus far, in addition to the names of 234 graduates whose academic credentials were rendered invalid, and of approximately 200 professors and lecturers who were dismissed.
The memorial book records all the names known to date, as well as their year of birth and academic faculty. The list of lecturers includes the subject they taught, academic titles rescinded during the NS era, graduation year and their degree.
In spite of in-depth scientific research, the online database is incomplete and continues as an ongoing project. Those involved hope to discover more names of forgotten NS victims, who will take their place amid their peers in the pages of the memorial book. Thus, it is regarded as an opportunity for expanding scientific knowledge.
In the Memorial Book’s preamble it is stated that in 2008, seventy years after the so-called “Anschluss,“ (annexation) and the pogroms of what came to be cynically called the „Kristallnacht“ (Crystal Night), the University of Vienna commemorates this injustice and is aware of the amount of shared responsibility it bears for this inconceivable atrocity perpetrated against ist affiliates. For the first time ever, the names of those dismissed, exiled and disenfranchised men and women are chronicled in this memorial book. It contains the names of the lecturers dismissed and students expelled for “racial“ and/or “political reasons“ whose academic titles were rescinded.
It is of paramount importance that the victims of National Socialist persecution at the University of Vienna (including the Vienna School of Medicine, which in the intervening years became an independent institution) remain part of the collective memory of today’s University.
The project’s team would be extremely grateful for any relevant information or references. They are painfully aware of the fact that past injustice cannot be expiated by their work. Rather, this is a belated, symbolic initiative, unfortunately destined never to be completed. This document is dedicated to the Present and to the Future, as a memento and a caveat addressed to all affiliates of the University: „Nip evil in the bud.“