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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
Atina Grossmann: A Lost Holocaust Story. Jewish Refugees in the Soviet Union and Iran during World War II

Thursday, 13. June 2013, 18:30 - 20:00

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


The lecture addresses a transnational Holocaust story that remarkably has remained essentially untold, marginalized in both historiography and commemoration.

 The majority of the c. 250,000 Jews who constituted the “saved remnant” (She’erit Hapleta) of Eastern European Jewry gathered in Allied Displaced Persons camps survived because they had been “deported to life” from parts of Poland that came under Soviet control after the Nazi-Soviet Pact. They were first sent to forced labour camps in Siberia and then, after the German invasion in June 1941, in Central Asia.

With the aid of goods provided by an American Jewish relief organization ( Joint), Stalin’s Soviet Union provided a crucial if harsh and generally involuntary refuge for at least three quarters of all Polish Jews who survived the war. The lecture seeks to integrate these largely unexamined experiences into our understanding of the Shoah, and to remap the landscape of persecution, survival, relief, and rescue during and after World War II.

Atina Grossmann is Professor of History at the Cooper Union in New York City. She has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, German Marshall Fund, American Council of Learned Societies, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the American Academy in Berlin, and the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Guest Professorships at the Humboldt University Berlin and Schiller University Jena. Major publications include Reforming Sex: The German Movement for Birth Control and Abortion Reform, 1920-1950 (1995), Jews, Germans, and Allies: Close Encounters in Occupied Germany (2007, German 2012) and After the Nazi Racial State: Difference and Democracy in Germany and Europe (2009).

Einladung Grossmann klein 

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


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