Article by Liam Hoare

In this latest instalment of our series, conceived in partnership with DILCRAH, on antisemitism in Europe, Liam Hoare looks at Austria’s strategy for combating hatred and prejudice against Jews. After exploring how Austria intends to take responsibility for its Nazi past and promote Jewish life, this week Liam Hoare develops the challenges and paradoxes of this endeavor. Like most Western countries, Austria has seen a resurgence of antisemitism in recent years, and is governed by a party associated with the far right. How can we ensure the long-term stability of Austrian Jewish life at a time when the war in Gaza is setting tempers alight in Europe?

In this latest instalment of our series on antisemitism in Europe, produced in partnership with DILCRAH, Liam Hoare looks at Austria’s strategy for combating hatred and prejudice against Jews. In this first part of his investigation, which will be concluded next week, he focuses on the desire to ensure the continuity of Austrian Jewish life, notably through an educational policy. But how does this fit in with Austria’s history of collaboration in the Nazi crimes?

After taking over the direction of the Jewish Museum in Vienna (JMW) on July 1, Barbara Staudinger and her team of curators had less than five months to put together their first exhibition: “100 Misunderstandings about and between Jews”. Since its opening at the end of November, the exhibition has been attracting audiences. A look back at a controversy not seen in a European Jewish museum for a decade.

In 2015, the British Prime Minister David Cameron announced the construction of a new Holocaust memorial and world-class learning center. Since then, the project has been racking up delays and stirring up various controversies. Journalist Liam Hoare investigated this project for K. and, more broadly, the issues of Holocaust remembrance policy in Britain.

A Jewish student organization, generation after generation, has become an important voice in the Austrian national public debate, even to the point of swaying governments. Tracing the activism of the Austrian Union of Jewish Students (JÖH) from its start to its latest iterations, Liam Hoare’s article tells how their activism confronts the reality of Austrian history and how it challenges the national narrative, recalling the memory of the victims of Nazi crimes and the responsibilities of those who committed them.

Last year, a collective of Viennese artists and activists rekindled the debate over the statue of Karl Lueger, the anti-Semitic mayor of the Christian Social Party in the Austrian capital between 1897 and 1910, whom Hitler considered to be one of the greatest “German mayors of all time”. Liam Hoare revisits for K. this memorial dispute, which still agitates Vienna’s political life to this very day.

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Thanks to the Paris office of the Heinrich Böll Foundation for their cooperation in the design of the magazine’s website.