Expelled Jewish citizens and their families visited Vienna in April. The group was invited and looked after by the Jewish Welcome Service Vienna. Also among the invitees was the blogger “Freud’s Butcher”, who commented on her impressions of Vienna, sometimes with humor.
In May, at the invitation of the Jewish Welcome Service in cooperation with the foreign service, a group from the Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre in Toronto visited Vienna to learn about the debate over the Holocaust and about modern Jewish life in the city.
In June at Vienna City Hall, Municipal Councilor Marcus Schober presented this year’s Leon Zelman Prize for Dialogue and Understanding to the Viennese initiative Shalom Alaikum, which helps refugees, on behalf of City Councilor for Culture Andreas Mailath-Pokorny.
Ruth Elkabets and Miriam Prager from Israel visited Vienna a few years ago at the invitation of the Jewish Welcome Service. They brought the diary of her great aunt Camilla Hirsch, in which she meticulously described the everyday life and the conditions at the Theresienstadt concentration camp. Thanks to the Mandelbaum publishing house, this diary has now been published and presented at the Jewish Museum Vienna in mid November.
At the invitation of the Jewish Welcome Service, a group of 30 first- and second-generation Holocaust survivors visited Vienna in October. The guests from the USA, Israel, Denmark and Uruguay were welcomed by Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen and City Councilman for Culture Andreas Mailath-Pokorny.
Once again, the Jewish Welcome Service (JWS) hosted a delegation of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) in November. The JWS organized a varied program in cooperation with AJC NY and the Austrian Consulate General.
In April, the Jewish Welcome Service (JWS) hosted around 40 Jews with Austrian roots in Vienna. An extensive program was arranged for the visitors from the USA, Israel and the UK, most of whom were descendants of the second generation.
The Leon Zelman Prize for Dialog and Understanding was awarded for the sixth time this year. In mid-June, publicist Uli Jürgens accepted the award from Andreas Mailath-Pokorny, Vice President of the Jewish Welcome Service, at Vienna City Hall.
The author Lore Segal visited Austria at the end of September. The occasion was the opening of the exhibition “Kitchen of Memory” at the Literaturhaus Wien and the awarding of the author with the Theodor Kramer Prize “For Writing in Resistance and Exile”. The Jewish Welcome Service supported the trip of Lore Segal and her daughter Beatrice.
In June, a group of young professionals from the Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre in Toronto visited Vienna.
In October, a group of 40 people visited Vienna at the invitation of the Jewish Welcome Service. The majority of guests from five nations are descendants, members of the second generation, who went in search of family traces.
On the evening of November 8, a service of remembrance of the November Pogrom was held on Vienna’s Tempelgasse, where Austria’s largest synagogue was destroyed by the Nazis in 1938. In front of 600 guests, Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen recalled the events in a powerful speech.
Rabbi David Lapp, who was able to flee the NS regime for the US with his parents in 1940, was in Vienna with his wife, Ruth, at the invitation of the Jewish Welcome Service, for the memorial service of the November Pogroms.
In March, Primavera Boman-Behram was a guest in Vienna at the invitation of the Jewish Welcome Service and attended the opening of the exhibition “Alles tanzt. Kosmos Wiener Tanzmoderne” (Everybody dances. The Cosmos of Viennese Dance Modernism – Theater Museum). Boman-Behram is the daughter of Hilde Holger, an outstanding dancer who was important for European Modernism and expelled by the Nazis.
At the beginning of April, a street in Vienna’s 2nd district was named after the author, painter and filmmaker Jakov Lind (1927-2007), who fled with a Kindertransport. The Jewish Welcome Service invited his daughter Oona Napier Lind and grandson Orlando Lind to Vienna for the street-naming ceremony.
In May, the Jewish Welcome Service hosted 35 second-generation Jews, who, among other things, joined in the celebrations at the “Fest der Freude” (Festival of Joy) on Heldenplatz in memory of the end of the Nazi terror.
In June, Shoshana Duizend-Jensen was awarded the Leon Zelman Prize 2019. The historian from the Municipal and Provincial Archives of Vienna has for many years dealt comprehensively with the disenfranchisement, deprivation, expulsion and persecution of Viennese Jews.
Also in June, the Jewish Welcome Service once again hosted a group of young professionals from the Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre Toronto.
At the beginning of July, a commemorative trip was undertaken from Vienna to London. The trip in remembrance of the “Kindertransports” that rescued Jewish children in 1938/39 was arranged by the Jewish Welcome Service, together with the Kindertransport Association New York and other organizations.
In September, the Jewish Welcome Service hosted a group of Jews from Vienna – among them three Holocaust survivors and second generation descendants. The three Holocaust survivors celebrated their birthdays during their stay in Vienna.
At the beginning of December, a memorial stone was unveiled on Mariahilfer Straße in memory of the fate of the Bibring family: the parents were deported and murdered by the Nazis, the children escaped on a Kindertransport. Harry Bibring was in Vienna at the invitation of the Jewish Welcome Service several times over the years.