60 Years of the Documentation Archive of Austrian Resistance

Lifestyle & TravelCulture ♦ Published: January 15, 2024; 21:20 ♦ (Vindobona)

The Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance (DÖW), an important institution in the reappraisal of Austria's Nazi past, is celebrating its 60th anniversary. Founded in 1963 by former resistance fighters and victims of Nazi persecution as well as committed academics, the DÖW has played a central role in researching and communicating the history of resistance against the Nazi regime.

Austrian President Van der Bellen congratulated the Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance on its 60th anniversary. / Picture: © Österreichische Präsidentschaftskanzlei / Peter Lechner/HBF

The anniversary ceremony took place in Vienna City Hall, with speeches by Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen, Vienna Mayor Michael Ludwig, and Science Minister Martin Polaschek. Van der Bellen praised the DÖW as an "important pillar in the fight for the historical, relentless reappraisal of our darkest history" and emphasized its importance in the current fight against totalitarian and illiberal tendencies.

Since its foundation, the DÖW has pursued a broad concept of resistance and taken all victim groups into account, with a particular focus on communicating this to new generations. As part of the anniversary, a symposium entitled "Resistance. Impulses for Resistance Research" was held, at which experts discussed various aspects of resistance, including individual decisions to resist, party-politically organized struggle, and forms of opposition.

Van der Bellen also spoke out against the use of anti-Semitic stereotypes, which he described as unacceptable, and emphasized the need for continued and increased cultivation and strengthening of liberal democracy. He emphasized that the DÖW is an indispensable element in the network against the enemies of an open society.

The City of Vienna and the Republic of Austria have increased funding for the DÖW, which will further strengthen its important democratic policy work. This not only makes it possible to cushion the costs of inflation, but also to prepare for the planned relocation of the Institute and the expansion of important areas such as public relations and research.

The event underlined the importance of the DÖW as a central player in the reappraisal and preservation of Austria's historical past and its role in dealing with current phenomena of anti-Semitism and right-wing extremism.

Presidential Chancellery of Austria

City of Vienna