First Steps Towards the Establishment of a Shoah Center in Vienna

More+More+ ♦ Published: January 31, 2023; 14:00 ♦ (Vindobona)

According to Oskar Deutsch, president of the Jewish Community Vienna (IKG), a memorial similar to those in Israel and the U.S. should also exist in Austria. Minister of Constitution Karoline Edtstadler supports such steps towards the establishment of a Shoah Center in Vienna.

IKG President Oskar Deutsch (l.) and Minister Karoline Edtstadler (r.) expressed their willingness to talk about the establishment of a Shoah Center in Vienna. / Picture: © Bundeskanzleramt (BKA) / Regina Aigner

A few days after the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, reported by, the second implementation report of the National Strategy against Anti-Semitism was presented at the Federal Chancellery during Edtstadler's appearance together with Deutsch as IKG President.

During the talks, the possibility of establishing a Shoah Center in Vienna came up. At any rate, at the presentation of the second implementation report of the National Strategy against Anti-Semitism, the Minister expressed her "readiness to talk".

Deutsch had justified the need for a Shoah Center in Vienna with the fact that there were fewer and fewer contemporary witnesses. He had come up with the idea during a visit to the Holocaust Museum in Los Angeles, where Holocaust survivors come into contact with younger visitors via holograms, as ORF reported.

"Yes, there are fewer and fewer contemporary witnesses," Minister Edtstadler also said, according to ORF. Therefore, she said, one must also think about how to set up alternative forms of commemoration in the future.

Yad Vashem in Jerusalem is to serve as a further model of such an institution, whereby bilateral discussions already took place between Austria's Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg and Yad Vashem head Dani Dayan, as reported. However, the extent to which this meeting discussed the establishment of a Shoah center in Vienna is unknown.

There have not yet been any concrete talks on the proposal from the IKG. The city of Vienna and the federal government could be the sponsors, according to the ORF.

Deutsch has just been re-elected as president of the IKG Vienna by the board of trustees, as reported by His recent remarks at a Holocaust memorial indicate that Deutsch wants to devote more time to this project during his current term of office.