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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
Gideon Reuveni: The Phantom Giant And The No-Key Gate. The German-Jewish Settlement And The Holocaust

Thursday, 20. October 2022, 18:30 - 20:00

Wien Museum MUSA 1010 Wien, Felderstraße 6–8


When on September 10, 1952, the Federal Republic of Germany, the State of Israel and the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany signed a reparation agreement in Luxembourg, this settlement was considered historical. Official publications from both sides portrayed it as a historic enterprise of a tremendous scope, unprecedented in the history of international relations just as the extermination of the Jewish people by Nazi Germany was unprecedented in human history. The agreement was to play a crucial role for the education of the German people and as a historic precedent for the whole world. It set an example and contained a warning: crimes of genocide cannot go unpunished and the moral debt arising therefrom must be paid.

However, what for a brief period of time was regarded as a momentous event in post-war history was promptly pushed to the margins of the historical stage. This talk will explore why that happened. The discussion will raise another, even more challenging question, namely how remembering the German-Jewish settlement might affect, if at all, the study and memory of the Holocaust?

Gideon Reuveni is Director of the Weidenfeld Institute of Jewish Studies at the University of Sussex. His main research and teaching interest is the cultural and social history of modern European and Jewish history. He is the author of the prize-winning book Consumer Culture and the Making of Jewish Identity’ (Cambridge University Press, 2018). He is currently working on a book-length publication on the history of German compensation payments to victims of National Socialism.

Für eine Teilnahme an der Veranstaltung registrieren Sie sich bitte hier. Es gelten die aktuellen COVID Präventionsmaßnahmen. Mit der Teilnahme an dieser Veranstaltung stimmen Sie der Veröffentlichung von Fotos, Video- und Audioaufzeichnungen zu, die im Rahmen der Veranstaltung entstehen.

SWL Reuveni



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


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