A Letter to the Stars

Jewish Welcome Service Vienna (05/09/04)
(Taken from a Press Release)

" We cannot undo what Holocaust survivors were forced to suffer. But today we can build bridges, reach out to them and give them back a piece of home by creating new encounters....."

The project, 'A Letter to the Stars," is the largest Holocaust research project in Austrian schools today. It began as a private initiative by the journalists, Alfred Worm, Andreas Kuba and Josef Neumayr.

In the course of 2003, more than 15,000 students researched and put in writing the individual life stories of Austrians killed by the National Socialists. The students’ work can be read on the Internet at: www.LetterToTheStars.at and a selection has been printed in the book, 'Letters to the Stars. Students Write History."

Part II of the project is meant to create the opportunity for personal encounters. Young Austrians will write to people - or their descendants - who were expelled from Austria, managed to flee "in time," or who survived in concentration camps or in hiding. The students’ assignment will be to write the individual life story from the information they obtain. This work will also appear on the Internet, and a selection will be published in book form.

The Jewish Welcome Service Vienna and its director, Leon Zelman, are closely cooperating with the project, and so we kindly ask you whether you have already been hosted in Austria or whether you have signalled your interest in being hosted - to support the project and reply to the enclosed letters. By doing so, you would give Austrian youth the unique chance to learn first hand about this period in history and gain some comprehension of it.

This project is being carried out by the Jewish Welcome Service Vienna and sponsored by the City of Vienna. All questions can be directed to Vienna, Austria: 011- 43-1-7983955 between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (MET).