AVienna also has a memorial that commemorates the murder of Jews during the Nazi regime of violence in Hitler’s Germany, to which Austria had belonged since 1938. The “Shoah Name Wall” consists of 160 oval granite elements. Carved on it are the names of 64,440 men, women and children who were murdered because of their Jewish origins.
The memorial, which was decided on in 2018, stands on a green area between the Austrian National Bank and the former central hospital AKH, the Ostarrichi-Park, not quite in the center of Vienna. The initiative for this came originally from the Holocaust survivor Kurt Yakov Tutter, who had campaigned for such a memorial for years: He wanted a place in his native Vienna, where he could mourn his murdered parents and where there were many People who had no more bereaved.
Schallenberg: Austria takes responsibility
The top representatives of the Austrian state wanted to take part in the opening on Tuesday, Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen, who, however, had to remain under quarantine in his official environment due to a corona illness, and Federal Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg, as well as the President of the Jewish Community of Vienna, Oskar Deutsch , Israeli Minister for Diaspora Affairs, Nachman Shai, and Initiator Tutter.
Schallenberg spoke of a “visible sign” that Austria – late – faced its responsibility for the dark times of the past. It also means a responsibility for the safety of Jewish people around the world and the State of Israel.
In a coincidence in time, the City of Vienna recently made a fundamental decision about a completely different monument. It shows a statue of the former mayor Karl Lueger (1844-1910). He is highly controversial because on the one hand he was considered a modernizer, on the other hand he was an open anti-Semite and was worshiped as such by Adolf Hitler.
It has now been decided that the 20-meter-high monument cannot remain standing, nor should it simply be torn down, but rather be subjected to an “artistic contextualization”. A tender for this is being prepared and should take place in about a year.