At the end of June, at the initiative of the Jewish Welcome Service, historians Gabriele Anderl and Evelyn Adunka led a “city walk to places of Jewish life in Vienna” through the districts of Ottakring and Hernals.
The two historians jointly published the book “Jewish Ottakring and Hernals” (Mandelbaum Verlag) in 2020 and now guided around two dozen excursion participants to selected places showcasing the Jewish history of the two districts. The tour included visits to the Rothschild baroque hall on Kalvarienberggasse, the former venue of the synagogue on Hubergasse, the “Pillars of Memory” at Yppenplatz, the former residence and factory of Franz and Fritz Mandelbaum (Frederic Morton), the Dichterhof (Dichter Department Store), and the birthplace of Walter Arlen.
Insights into everyday Jewish life in the suburbs
According to the 1934 census, over 7,100 people of the Jewish faith lived in the two districts. Many other inhabitants, who were later persecuted by the Nazis due to their Jewish origins, had converted to Christianity, were non-denominational or lived in mixed-denomination marriages. During the November Pogrom, the large temple at Hubergasse 8 and three other houses of prayer were destroyed, the religious Jewish associations and welfare institutions were disbanded, and the Jewish inhabitants of both districts were expelled or murdered.
The walk provided insights into the everyday life of Jews in the Viennese “suburbs” before 1938, their social environment, and the huge diversity of professions practiced.