Fundraising Soirée for Descendants of the Author of the 1920 Austrian Constitution

More+Events ♦ Published: October 15, 2021; 11:17 ♦ (Vindobona)

The Jewish Museum Vienna held a fundraiser for the descendants of the author of the 1920 Austrian Constitution, Hans Kelsen. Prominent guests attended and spoke at the event, including a former chancellor and Kelsen's granddaughter. Read about the event and the exhibition being displayed to honor Mr. Kelsen's legacy.

Director of the Jewish Museum Vienna Danielle Spera (left), former Austrian Chancellor Brigitte Bierlein (mid), and actor Cornelius Obonya (right) at the fundraiser. / Picture: © Magistrat der Stadt Wien / Ouriel Morgensztern

On the 140th birthday of the author of the Austrian Federal Constitution, Hans Kelsen, the Jewish Museum Vienna, a museum owned by Wien Holding, organized a fundraising soirée in the Juridicum of the University of Vienna.

For the occasion, Hans Kelsen’s granddaughter, Anne Feder Lee, traveled from Hawaii accompanied by her son, Geoffrey Lee.

The proceeds of the evening will be donated to the cultural education program for children and young people at the Jewish Museum Vienna.

Prominent soirée guests

Nearly 100 people listened to the speech by former Austrian Chancellor Brigitte Bierlein, who also served as honorary patron of the exhibition “Hans Kelsen and the Elegance of the Austrian Federal Constitution.”

This exhibit was on display at the Jewish Museum Vienna from October 2020 to October 2021.

Additionally, legal historian Thomas Olechowski spoke to Anne Feder Lee about her memories of her grandfather Hans Kelsen.

Another highlight of the evening was Cornelius Obonya's reading from the graphic novel “Gezeichnet. Hans Kelsen,” which the Jewish Museum Vienna published to accompany the exhibition.

The comic about the history of the Austrian Federal Constitution and the life of Hans Kelsen, published by MANZ-Verlag, was presented as a specially designed limited edition at the soirée.

In addition, the guests were able to take part in a silent auction with prints by artist and author Pia Plankensteiner from the graphic novel.

“Hans Kelsen and the elegance of the Austrian Federal Constitution” in the Juridicum

The Jewish Museum Vienna’s exhibition “Hans Kelsen and the Elegance of the Austrian Federal Constitution,” curated by Adina Seeger, is now on view in the Juridicum’s auditorium.

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Austrian Federal Constitution, the exhibition pays tribute to its architect and focuses on his life and work.

In addition, it invites visitors to take a closer look at the Federal Constitution - with surprising findings and insights.

About Hans Kelsen

Hans Kelsen was a jurist, legal philosopher, and political philosopher born in Prague, Austria-Hungary, in 1881.

Mr. Kelsen authored the 1920 Austrian Constitution, which remains the basis for Austria’s present-day constitution.

Kelsen fled Austria to Germany following the rise of totalitarianism and a constitutional amendment in 1929.

However, due to his Jewish ancestry, he was then forced to leave his position at the university in Germany when Hitler seized power in 1933.

In 1940, Mr. Kelsen fled to the United States, where he had already developed a good reputation for defending democracy and his Pure Theory of Law.

Kelsen then taught at the University of California, Berkeley for years, officially retiring in 1952.

Throughout his career, Kelsen made a significant impact on philosophy, legal science, sociology, the theory of democracy, and international relations.

Mr. Kelsen passed away on April 19, 1973, in Berkeley, California, USA.

City of Vienna