Vienna - City of Jews

The World of Tante Jolesch

Illustrierte Neue Welt (April/May 2004)

Vienna, City of Jews - The World of Tante (Aunt) Jolesch is the title of the latest exhibition of the Jewish Museum Vienna (Wien 1., Dorotheergasse 11) from May 19-October 31, 2004. During the era of the First Republic (1918-1938), there were more than 200,000 Jews living in Vienna - almost 11 percent of the entire population.

Vienna’s Jews formed an important segment within the population. They were visible in all aspects of public life and had a marked influence on many areas of culture and politics. They were not by any means an isolated, homogenous group and were no less dispersed among the various social and political classes than the rest of the population. There were reformers and visionaries, hotheads and dreamers, speculators and fortune hunters, poor devils and patrons of the arts.

This world between the two world wars comes to life in the exhibition once again, depicting various aspects of the Jewish experience. There was no such thing as "the Jews." There were the devout immigrants living in impoverished quarters, the intellectual elites and bohemians meeting in coffee houses, and elegant liberal bourgeoisie in ostentatious salons.

The exhibit showcases the history of the Jews in an era before the Holocaust cast its deathly shadow over the city.

For those interested, see: