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The Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI) organises academic events in order to provide the broader public as well as an expert audience with regular insights into the most recent research results in the fields of Holocaust, genocide, and racism research. These events, some of which extend beyond academia in the stricter sense, take on different formats ranging from small lectures to the larger Simon Wiesenthal Lectures and from workshops addressing an expert audience to larger international conferences and the Simon Wiesenthal Conferences. This reflects the institute’s wide range of activities.


The range of events further extends to the presentation of selected new publications on the institute’s topics of interest, interventions in the public space, the film series VWI Visuals, and the fellows’ expert colloquia.



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Simon Wiesenthal Lecture
Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett: Rising from the Rubble. Creating the Museum of the History of Polish Jews

Thursday, 12. June 2014, 18:30 - 20:00

Dachfoyer des Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchivs 1010 Wien, Minoritenplatz 1


The Grand Opening of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews will take place on 28 October 2014 in Warsaw. The museum, which faces the Monument to the Warsaw Ghetto Heroes, completes the memorial complex. At the monument, the memory of those who died is honoured by remembering how they died. In the museum, they are honoured by remembering how they lived.

At the heart of the museum is its multimedia narrative exhibition, which presents the thousand year history of Polish Jews. That history is today an untold story, a story broken by the Holocaust, but with a legacy that lives on.

This lecture will go behind the scenes to show how the museum and its core exhibition evolved from an initial idea in 1993 to become one of the most important museums of Jewish history in the world. The museum and its core exhibition aspire to be an agent of transformation by transmitting the rich civilization of Polish Jews to future generations, by creating a trusted zone for engaging with difficult issues, and by being a bridge across time, people, and continents.

 The lecture will be introduced and moderated by Danielle Spera, Director of the Jewish Museum Vienna.

Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, distinguished University Professor at New York University, is Programme Director of the Core Exhibition at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, which is on the site of the former Warsaw ghetto and pre-war Jewish neighbourhood. Her books include Image before My Eyes: A Photographic History of Jewish Life in Poland, 1864–1939 (with Lucjan Dobroszycki); and They Called Me Mayer July: Painted Memories of a Jewish Childhood in Poland Before the Holocaust, which she co-authored with her father Mayer Kirshenblatt.

She was honoured with the award for lifetime achievement by the Foundation for Jewish Culture. She currently serves on Advisory Boards for the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, Jewish Museum Vienna, and the New Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow.

140526 Einladung Lecture 34 Kirshenblatt web

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