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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
Randolph L. Braham: Hungary: The Controversial Chapter of the Holocaust

Thursday, 13. October 2011, 18:30

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


The destruction of Hungarian Jewry on the eve of the allied victory – when the secrets of Auschwitz were already known to the leaders of the world, including the national and Jewish leaders of Hungary – constitutes a puzzle in the general history of the Holocaust. Professor Braham will attempt to identify and analyse the major parts of the puzzle, which when placed together will reveal the reasons why this unthinkable and unforeseen catastrophe became a reality.

The lecture will focus, among other issues, on the historical roots of the calculations and miscalculations (in some cases outright illusions) of the wartime leaders of Germany and Hungary in pursuit of their particular political and military-strategic objectives as well as the strategies of the Jewish (traditional and Zionist) leaders of Hungary and Slovakia in attempting to ensure the possible survival of their respective communities.

Dr. Randolph L. Brahamis Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Political Science at The City College and the Doctoral Program at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, where he also serves as Director of the Rosenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies. He is a special- ist in comparative politics and is a recognized authority on the Holocaust, author or editor of 61 books, co-authored and contributed chapters to 49 others. Some of his works were used as major source books by courts of law in various countries, including Canada, Germany, Israel, and the United States in cases involving restitution and war crimes. His two-volume The Poli- tics of Genocide: The Holocaust in Hungary, published by Columbia University Press (1981), has been reviewed and praised all over the world as a “monumental” and “definitive” empirical work. In 1981, it was selected for the Jewish National Book award (USA). In November 1995, he was awarded the Order of Merit Officer’s Cross of the Republic of Hungary.

Professor Braham has participated in many national and international conferences, served as guest lecturer in many institutions of higher learning in Israel, Europe, and North America, and appeared on a variety of radio and television programs as a commentator or panellist. His life story is the subject of a documentary produced by the Hungarian Duna-TV in November 2003.


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


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