Austrian Remembrance Service Turns 30

Lifestyle & TravelCulture ♦ Published: September 1, 2022; 23:15 ♦ (Vindobona)

The Gedenkdienst or Austrian Remembrance Service is an Austrian voluntary service celebrating its 30th anniversary since its launch. The Gedenkdienst deals with the causes and consequences of National Socialism and its crimes in Austria and the world and tries to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust in a dignified way.

The Remembrance Service or Gedenkdienst is commemorating the victims of National Socialism and the related awareness-raising and educational work. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons / Christian Michelides, CC BY-SA 4.0 (

On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the introduction of the Austrian Remembrance Service, Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg gave the opening speech at a ceremony in Parliament on September 1, 2022.

The Remembrance Service or Gedenkdienst is a voluntary service in which young Austrians are involved abroad in promoting the memory of the victims of National Socialism and the related awareness-raising and educational work. The voluntary service can be performed as a six- to twelve-month service abroad in Holocaust memorial sites, museums, and research institutions related to Holocaust research.

In his address, Foreign Minister Schallenberg emphasized the importance of the Memorial Service for Austria to take responsibility for the crimes of National Socialism and the central role played by all too many Austrians.

The Austrian memorial servants are deployed in Holocaust memorial sites, museums and cultural organizations all over the world. After the legal basis was created in the National Council on December 27, 1991, the first Gedenkdiener was able to begin his work at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum on September 1, 1992. Today, memorial servants are active at more than 80 sites in over 40 countries.

Foreign Minister Schallenberg stated that "the remembrance of the Holocaust, as well as the fight against anti-Semitism, are top priorities for Austria at the national, European and international levels. We are aware of our historical responsibility. Memorial service is one of the most important ways to express this responsibility."

In addition to the importance of the Gedenkdienst for Austria's culture of remembrance, Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg also emphasized its role for the next generation in Austria in his speech. Memorial work abroad would enable young Austrians to grasp the imperatives of "never forget" and "never again" in a very special way.

Memorial servicemen and women are an important part of Austria's efforts to make amends for past injustices as far as possible. In addition, an amendment to the law was passed in 2022 granting Holocaust survivors and their descendants a right to Austrian citizenship under certain conditions. In addition, Austria is an active member of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

BMEIA Federal Ministry for Europe Integration and Foreign Affairs

Austrian Remembrance Service