Groundbreaking Ceremony Held for New Holocaust Memorial in Vienna
Construction of a new memorial wall to the victims of the Holocaust in the Austrian capital of Vienna began on Monday with a groundbreaking ceremony in the city park where the wall is being assembled.
Scheduled for completion in the fall of 2021, the wall commemorates “the Jewish Children, Women and Men from Austria Murdered in the Shoah.” The names of more than 64,000 Austrian Jews murdered in the Holocaust will be engraved onto the wall.
Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, Karoline Edtstadler — the Austrian government’s minister for the European Union — said the wall was intended to pay tribute to the “identity” and “dignity” of the victims.
She added that history would judge the present generation through “what we are doing to create a society free of extremism.”
The Holocaust survivor who initiated the memorial project, Kurt Tutter, told the gathering that the wall was a “warning for the future.”
Tutter was also the subject of a warm tribute from Wolfgang Sobotka, president of Austria’s National Council, who spoke of the duty to remember the Holocaust. In that regard, he highlighted the resurgence of antisemitism on both the left and right, as well as among Muslim communities in Europe.
Oskar Deutsch — head of the Jewish community in Vienna — told the ceremony that society was duty-bound to “do everything together every day to ensure that this never happens again.”
“We owe it to the victims of the Shoah, whose individual names are engraved here,” Deutsch said.