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Simon Wiesenthal on the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute

 

I have been thinking for some time now about which institution in Austria or abroad I should entrust the collections of my archive to, in order to best enable access to the abundance of interesting material for historical research.

 

The initiative of the Jewish community organisation to establish and organise a Shoah research centre at the Rabensteig in Vienna presented the ideal solution to my problem. As an honorary citizen of the City of Vienna, it is a matter of great importance to me to know that the results of my work over many decades are well preserved in the heart of the city. Therefore I acquiesced to have the research centre bear my name.

 

This centre will moreover serve to bring together the scholarly and pedagogic work of existing institutions, such as the Institute for Contemporary History at the university and the Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance.

 

It has only been a few years since Vienna received a memorial to the memory of its Jewish citizens who were murdered during National Socialism. Following my suggestion, it was thanks to the approval and the commitment of the Mayor of Vienna, Dr. Michael Häupl, that this could be realised. For the memory of the Shoah to be followed by knowledge of the Shoah, a research institute of international standing, as is now being planned, is a prerequisite.

 

I therefore appeal to the City of Vienna and the Republic of Austria for their support in the realisation of this project, which will be a credit to both and will balance a deficit in the area of historical research.

 

Simon Wiesenthal (1908-2005)

 

Vienna, in the autumn of 2002

 

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Simon Wiesenthal