DESTROYED JEWISH COMMUNITIES

A SECURING OF EVIDENCE 2002

A project of the Burgenland Adult Education Center
Sponsored by: City of Mattersburg, Austrian Society for Political Education

1993

From March to June 1993 the Burgenland adult education center organized a traveling exhibition with an accompanying program under the project title “Destroyed Jewish communities in Burgenland. A securing of evidence.” The texts about the former Jewish communities had been developed by students of the University’s Department of Ethnology in line with their term papers, which were shown in an exhibition at the department.

Although the extensive presentation of the history of the Jewry in Burgenland is not exhaustive, the Burgenland adult education center took over this exhibition and presented it in the twelve municipalities of Burgenland, whose Jewish communities were the basis of the papers. The result of this search for evidence should be shown – accompanied by lectures, readings, concerts, theater productions and panel discussions – in those places, where the “disappearance” of this part of Burgenland’s history becomes visible.

Not least, this project should provide material for remembrance and discussions.

2002

10 years later the revised and redesigned exhibition was presented again. The renewed “search for evidence” shows that a lot has changed. Jewish cemeteries are maintained, new memorial plaques and places commemorate the Jewish population in Burgenland. More and more scientists and concerned persons attend to the topic. Nevertheless, there are still some things that have not yet been processed and there is still some information missing to complete the image of the Jewry in Burgenland.

Even today, the exhibition does not make the claim to be complete. It means to give an overlook of the development of the former Jewish communities, several aspects of Jewish life, and traces of Jewish culture and life that are still visible today.

“History” is not something of the past, but is effective in the present. This exhibition is intended to help show the inseparability between the present being and its historical becoming, between the being and the past. It is not in order to conclude the disability of escaping from historical dependencies, but rather to gain guidance for the future.

We are grateful for any suggestions, critics, information and advice. You will find the texts of the exhibition on our website:

www.vhs-burgenland.at

For helpful advice, support, and corrections thanks to: Mag. Gerhard Baumgartner, Dr. Herbert Brettl, Dr. Lisa Fandl, Bgm. Manfred Fuchs, Margarethe Hausensteiner, Dir. i.R. Irmgard Jurkovich, Mag. Christoph Konrath, Mag. Hans Lunzer, Mag. Johannes Reiss, MMag. Markus Prenner, Dr. Gert Tschögl and Mag. Gertraud Tometich.

The project team:

Wolfgang R. Kubizek, Mag. Eva Schwarzmayer, Dr. Christine Teuschler

Eisenstadt, Oberwart in November 2002

by Johannes Scholem Graf

2010.09.01