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Simon Wiesenthal Lectures


The Simon Wiesenthal lecture series takes place regularly every six to eight weeks and aims to present the latest research findings on the Holocaust to both a professional and a broader audience. They take into account the impressive spectrum of this discipline, the numerous questions and issues from empirical-analytical historiography to topics of cultural studies and involve young scholars as well as established academics.


Since 2007, when the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI) was still being established, the lecture series – at that time in cooperation with the Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance (DÖW) and the Institute of Contemporary History at the University of Vienna– has developed into the flagship of the VWI's outreach activities as a supporting element in the communication of recent academic findings in the field of Holocaust research and Holocaust and genocide studies.


For over a decade, the Austrian State Archives generously offered shelter to the Simon Wiesenthal Lectures in the roof foyer of the Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv. During the challenging years of the pandemic, the lectures were held online. From autumn 2022, in order to reach out to further audiences, a new cooperation partner was found in the Wien Museum. Until the reopening of the main location at Karlsplatz, the SWL will take place at MUSA, Felderstraße 6-8, next to the Vienna City Hall.



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Simon Wiesenthal Lecture
Paul A. Shapiro: Opening the archives of the International Tracing Service. How did it Happen?

Thursday, 18. December 2008, 18:30 - 21:00

Jüdisches Museum Wien, Dorotheergasse 11, A-1010 Wien


Mit Datenschutz-Argumenten hat das Internationale Rote Kreuz jahrzehntelang den Zugang zum größten Holocaust-Archiv der Welt blockiert. Sein International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen (Hessen) verfügt über einen Bestand von rund 50 Millionen Dokumenten zu rund 17,5 Millionen Menschen. Aufgabe des Suchdienstes war und ist die Sammlung, Ordnung, Aufbewahrung und Auswertung von Unterlagen über zivile Opfer der NS- Herrschaft. Im November 2007 kam es nach großem internationalem Druck zur Freigabe der Akten für die historische Forschung. Paul Shapiro war maßgeblich an der Öffnung des ITS- Archivs beteiligt. In seinem Vortrag wird er über die politischen Hintergründe, die diplomatischen Schritte zur Öffnung, die Inhalte des ITS-Archivs, seine Zugänglichkeit und die neuen Chancen für die Holocaust-Forschung sprechen.

(Vortrag in englischer Sprache)


Paul A. Shapiro, Dr., ist Direktor des Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies am United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C.










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


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