Herklotzgasse 21 and the Jewish cultural spaces in a Viennese locality
This project deals with the forms taken by Jewish life in Vienna’s Fünfhaus quarter. An important focus of the project is charting the little-known but many-sided world of pre-1938 Jewish association life. This has been achieved by creating an exhibition, holding a symposium on Jewish association and producing an exhibition catalogue. The Jewish Welcome Service, which has supported the project since the autumn of 2007 (the project initiators travelled to Israel to conduct oral history interviews), invited 20 former residents of the 15th district and their relatives to a one-week visit to Vienna in October/November 2008 on the occasion of the exhibition opening.
At the beginning of November, the square on the corner of Turnergasse / Dingelstedtgasse in Vienna’s 15th district was named after Moshe Jahoda at a celebratory event. Moshe Jahoda was born Hans Jahoda on May 11, 1926, in Geibelgasse in Vienna’s 15th district. As a child, he witnessed both the violence towards Jews and the destruction of the Turner Temple during the November Pogrom. Throughout his life, Moshe Jahoda was involved in many ways, both in Israel as an officer in the founding of the state, and in his civil career. In the 15th district, he played a key role in the erection of a memorial on the site of the Turner Temple.
Radetzkyschule school project
Another initiative is that of Renate Mercsanits, who researched the life stories of expelled and murdered Jewish students and teachers at the Radetzkyschule grammar school – as she did two years earlier at the Wasagymnasium.
Both schools were “jüdische Sammelschulen” (Jewish concentration schools) in 1938. The Wasagymnasium already had so-called “Jewish classes” as early as 1936!
In November 2008 the Jewish Welcome Service invited former students and their relatives to a one-week visit to Vienna on the occasion of a ceremony and unveiling of the memorial plaque at the Radetzkygymnasium. The Jewish Welcome Service worked with Radetzkyschule to organise the stays and the programme, and assumed responsibility for looking after the guests.