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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 Törnquist-Plewa: In Search of Transnational and Transcultural Memories of the Holocaust. Examples from Sweden and Poland

Thursday, 19. April 2018, 18:30 - 21:00

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


The memory of the Holocaust was one of the first fully-fledged transnational collective memories to travel around the world. Most of the scholarship tracing the transnational flows of representations of Holocaust memory has focussed on literature, films, and other media products. This lecture, on the other hand, foregrounds the research on memory practices in specific geographic places in order to demonstrate the transnational dimension of national and local Holocaust memories, as well as to trace how this memory actually travels across national borders and what happens during this process. What is the potential of transnational Holocaust memories to produce new stories and new social relations and solidarities?

This lecture presents two different examples of transnational Holocaust memory at work in specific localities: one from the Swedish capital, Stockholm, and one from the provincial Polish town of Szydlowiec, that prior to the Holocaust was a shtetl. In connection with these cases, the lecture discusses the extent to which transnational memories are also transcultural or culturally hybrid memories that have a transformative power, enabling people to imagine new communities and new types of belonging.

Barbara Törnquist-Plewa is a Professor of Eastern and Central European Studies at Lund University in Sweden. Between 2012 and 2016, she led the international research network In Search for Transcultural Memory in Europe (in the framework of the EU COST-programme). Her research focusses on nationalism, identity, and collective memories. She is the author and editor of a number of books and articles in English, Swedish, and Polish. Her latest publications include: The Twentieth Century in European Memory, Amsterdam 2017; Disputed Memory. Emotions and Memory Politics in Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, Berlin/Boston 2016 (both edited with Tea Sindbaek Andersen); and Whose Memory? Which Future? Remembering Ethnic Cleansing and Lost Cultural Diversity in Eastern, Central and Southeastern Europe, New York/London, 2016.

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The Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI) is funded by:


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