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Reopening on 8 February


From 8 February 2021, the VWI's archive and library are accessible again. Registration via telephone or e-mail is required since the reading room allows only one person at the same time.

The museum can be accessed by a maximum of two people at the same time. In all cases a FFP2-mask is mandatory and also the minimum distance of two metres has to be guaranteed.

The institute can be reached by telephone from Monday to Friday 10:00-16:00: +43-1-890-15-14

Simon Wiesenthal Lectures


The Simon Wiesenthal Lecture series has been held in collaboration with the Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance (DÖW) and the Institute of Contemporary History at the University of Vienna since 2007, when the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI) was still being established. As an important aspect of the task of education on recent academic insights in the fields of Holocaust research and genocide studies, the lecture series has developed into the VWI's education flagship.


The lectures take place every six to eight weeks, with renowned scholars presenting the most recent research insights on the Holocaust to a professional audience as well as a broader public. They showcase the impressive spectrum of this discipline, its numerous questions and issues ranging from empirical-analytical historiography to topics of cultural scholarship, and involve young scholars as well as established academics.


The Austrian State Archive as our co-operation partner has since June 2010 provided us with the perfect location for our lectures: the rooftop foyer of the “Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv” at Minoritenplatz in Vienna. This location at the rear façade of the Federal Chancellery of the Republic of Austria is symbolic of the reappraisal of the Holocaust in Austria: After all, this history had been marginalised for decades, just like its immediate historical antecedent, Austrian antisemitism, was cut out of history, its appraisal shoved aside for victims and their descendants to deal with. This has only changed in recent times. The Shoah has simultaneously been moving ever closer to the centre of Austrian historical awareness. It has slowly emerged from the repressed periphery and out of the realm of taboo and silence and into the focus of understanding of Austria’s most recent history. Thus, the Simon Wiesenthal Lectures are held at a place that represents the symbolic and real centre of the Republic and is at the same time also an instance of this turn in the Austrian perception of its own history.



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Simon Wiesenthal Lecture
Robert Jan van Pelt: Auschwitz, Holocaust-Leugnung und der Irving-Prozess

Thursday, 10. June 2010, 18:30

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


Seit den 1970er-Jahren richten Holocaust-Leugner ihre Aufmerksamkeit vor allem auf die Frage der Krematorien von Auschwitz: Mit der Infragestellung ihrer Existenz meinen sie, den Holocaust überhaupt leugnen zu können. Im berühmt-berüchtigten Londoner Prozess »David Irving gegen Deborah Lipstadt« im Jahr 2000 erreichten die Attacken der Holocaust-Leugner gegen die Evidenz der Auschwitzer Krematorien einen dramatischen Höhepunkt. Fünf Tage lang verteidigte der vom Gericht bestellte Sachverständige Robert Jan van Pelt seinen 700-seitigen Bericht im Kreuzverhör – mit einem erbärmlichen Ausgang für David Irving.

Der englischsprachige Vortrag des niederländischen Architekturhistorikers wird auf die Hintergründe und Entwicklungen dieses historischen Gerichts- prozesses fokussieren.

Robert Jan van Pelt, 1955 im niederländischen Haarlem geboren, ist Absolvent der Universität Leiden. Er unterrichtete Architektur- und Stadtbaugeschichte an den Universitäten von Singapur, Virginia, am MIT und an der TU Wien, und ist zur Zeit Professor an der University of Waterloo, Kanada. Bekannt wurde er vor allem durch seine Veröffentlichungen zum KZ Auschwitz.

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


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