The brochure entitled “40 Years of the Jewish Welcome Service” was recently published. The lavishly illustrated 80-page publication in German and English is free of charge and also available online.
Forty short life stories of Holocaust survivors and their descendants form the core of the wide-ranging presentation. They all visited Vienna under the visitor program of the JWS. Their stories give an impression of the Nazi terror of the time, of the travails of fleeing, the difficulties of survival, as well as of the many ways in which they encounter the city of Vienna again as visitors, decades after escaping.
In addition, the brochure traces the works of Leon Zelman, the founder and long-standing director of the JWS; remembers Zelman’s companion Ari Rath; describes the early years of the institution; explains the importance of the Leon Zelman Prize and gives insight into the activities of the previous prizewinners.
From special projects to the “Jewish Echo”
The publication also describes a number of JWS special projects, highlights the importance of the invitation program for the young generation and the importance of school projects involving contemporary witnesses, and recalls the Kindertransport of 1938/39 and the Kindertransport Museum of today. It also focuses on the “Jewish Echo”, a periodical that was co-founded by Leon Zelman 70 years ago.
A chronology gives a brief overview of the milestones in the four decades of work done by the JWS, which would have been inconceivable without the sponsors and supporters, who have been given due consideration in the brochure. The material for the publication was researched by General Secretary Susanne Trauneck together with Paul Daniel, who also wrote the text.