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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
Marc Volovici: German as a Jewish Problem - The Language Politics of Jewish Nationalism

Thursday, 14. October 2021, 18:30 - 20:00

Wiener Wiesenthal Institut für Holocaust-Studien, 1010 Wien, Rabensteig 3, Research Lounge, 3. Stock


In the immediate postwar period the German language was commonly depicted as ‘the language of the murderers’, a tainted language that carries the memory of the Nazi period and the Holocaust. In Israel, this label was frequently employed in order to defend a boycott of the German language. This lecture will explore how the postwar idea of German as a forbidden language drew on centuries-long debates over the significant power of German in modern Jewish culture and over the dangers that it poses to Jewish life. The lecture will pay close attention to the 1961 Eichmann Trial, an event that revealed the profound and ambivalent place of German in Jewish historical memory.

Marc Volovici is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at Birkbeck College’s history department and the Birkbeck Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, University of London. He holds a PhD from Princeton University, and is the author of German as a Jewish Problem: The Language Politics of Jewish Nationalism (Stanford University Press, 2020). Marc served as an academic advisor and co-edited the exhibition catalogue for the award-winning exhibition Jews, Money, Myth developed in collaboration with the Jewish Museum London, which ran at the Museum in 2019.

Für eine Teilnahme vor Ort bitten wir um Anmeldung bis 13. Oktober 2021, 12:00 Uhr: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Auf Grund beschränkter Teilnehmer*innenzahl live und online

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SWL Volovici

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


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