Learning Lessons from That Which One Doesn’t Forget

Der Standard

Leon Zelman, editor of Das Jüdische Echo, characterized the annual journal distributed by embassies worldwide as a "positive rarity," and a forum for discussion of relevant, contemporary questions concerning well-known Austrian and international authors. Moreover, as a holocaust survivor, he attempts to save the remnants of former Jewish intellectual life of Vienna, following its destruction and expulsion from the city, and trace what was left remaining into the present day.

The 2003 edition which was recently presented in Vienna (see: www.jewish-welcome.at,) concerns itself mainly with the tense relationship between Europe and the United States. Apart from contributions from Paul Lendvai, Hugo Portisch, Peter Huemer and Albert Rohan, one can find a text written in English on "European Anti-Americanism" written by a Romanien Professor at Harvard who received his highschool degree/Matura in 1967 at the Wiener Theresianum.

Authors such as Elfriede Jelinek, Anton Pelinka, Hans Rauscher and Armin Thurnher write about "Politics and Anti-Semitism in Austria. There are also contributions on NS "Vernaderertum" (mockery) and a glimpse of a new biography about Arthur Koestler. Regarding the Middle East, Zelman makes attempts at an open discussion, such as is usual in Israel. This time Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF) veteran, Mosche Meisel, the Israeli critic, Yossi Arid, as well as Ben Segenreich and Gudrun Harrer (Der Standard) offer their opinions.

In the cultural section, the "Leon Wolke Song," which André Heller dedicated to Leon Zelman, stands out: "Ya, that’s how Leon speaks - in clouds/ and I want you to know/ because one can only learn lessons from that which one doesn’t forget."