Can One Small Street in Vienna Change the Memory of the Holocaust?
Documentarian and Community Activist
In Europe the urban landscape is full of monuments and memorials commemorating the Holocaust. From the sites of former concentration camps, to museums, to large-scale memorial projects such as the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin or the Nameless Library in Vienna, the memory of the Holocaust is part of the present-day urban topography. In her talk, Barbara Kintaert discusses a grass-roots research project in Vienna that has changed the way a simple street in Vienna remembers the past. This project, called “Servitengasse 1938,” focuses on the Jewish residents who were living in this street before Hitler forced them to flee or sent them to their death. In 1937, 55% of the inhabitants of the Servitengasse were of the Jewish faith. But what happened to the inhabitants of the street when the Nazi terror regime came to power in Austria in 1938? In what ways are these residents remembered in the city today? To what extent do the Servitengasse memorials change the urban geography of Vienna and the memory of the Holocaust today?
This City Talk was co-sponsored by the European Union Centre of Excellence at the University of Victoria.