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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
Hanna Yablonka: Survivors of the Holocaust in Israel: Image and Reality

Thursday, 8. May 2014, 17:30 - 19:00

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


Unlike the common notion, the fact is that on the eve of World War II most of the European Jews were NOT Zionists. However six years later, by the end of that war, most of them, now survivors of the Holocaust, chose to leave Europe and to immigrate to Palestine, later the state of Israel. Between the years 1945 – 1960 more than 500,000 survivors arrived to Israel. At the beginning of the 1960's one of every four Israelis was a survivor: The lecture will try to tell their story. It is an unprecedented one in the history of worldwide immigrations. It is the story of newcomers who came wounded, often traumatized, by one of the major horrors human kind had ever known, and became the backbone of their newly acquired society and state.

The lecture will draw their demographic profile, their human choices after the Holocaust, the many roads they took on their way to integrate into the Israeli society as well as the deep impact they left on Israeli culture and identity.

Hanna Yablonkais affiliated with the History Department at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Her research has focused on the cultural and social impact of the Shoah on Israeli society. Today she is the Chair of the Israel Studies department. Among her many affiliations she currently is a member of the Yad Vashem Counsel and was the academic advisor of Yad Vashem's exhibition marking the 60th anniversary of the State of Israel. Hanna Yablonka is the chair of Governors of the Memorial Museum of the Hungarian Speaking Jewry in Safed and the Historian of the Ghetto Fighters Museum. Hanna Yablonka is the author of over 40 scientific articles, the editor of four books, and the author of several books including: Survivors of the Holocaust (1999), The History of the War Veterans Association (1999), The State of Israel vs. Adolf Eichmann (2004), The Mizrahim and the Shoah (2008).

Wegen des "Festes der Freude" ausnahmsweise geänderte Beginnzeit!

Die Veranstaltung wird rechtzeitig zum Beginn des "Festes der Freude" am Heldenplatz beendet werden.

140409 Einladung Lecture 33 Yablonka













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