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The Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI) organises academic events in order to provide the broader public as well as an expert audience with regular insights into the most recent research results in the fields of Holocaust, genocide, and racism research. These events, some of which extend beyond academia in the stricter sense, take on different formats ranging from small lectures to the larger Simon Wiesenthal Lectures and from workshops addressing an expert audience to larger international conferences and the Simon Wiesenthal Conferences. This reflects the institute’s wide range of activities.


The range of events further extends to the presentation of selected new publications on the institute’s topics of interest, interventions in the public space, the film series VWI Visuals, and the fellows’ expert colloquia.



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Simon Wiesenthal Lecture
Racheli Kreisberg: My Grandfather Simon Wiesenthal: A Family Story to be Told

Monday, 11. January 2016, 18:30 - 20:00

Jüdisches Museum Wien, Dorotheergasse 11, 1010 Wien


After his liberation from Mauthausen, Simon Wiesenthal, my late grandfather, was reunited with his wife Cyla Muller. They realised all too soon that all 89 of their relatives had been murdered. This is the notion we grew up with: “we have no family”. Over the years, I made multiple attempts to ask my grandparents about their family, but my notes remained almost empty. Upon the passing of Simon Wiesenthal, I renewed my efforts to explore our family roots and analysed personal letters and tombstones, as well as communicating with people sharing the name Wiesenthal and, most importantly, genealogy pals.

This lecture focuses on the discovery of Simon Wiesenthal’s ancestors and their families. This is a search which in turn led to the establishment of a huge and robust family tree now shared with the public in various databases and a story to tell to all those who are interested in the man who dedicated his life to bringing Nazi criminals and their collaborators to justice.

Welcome Address: Andreas Mailath-Pokorny Danielle Spera
Moderation: Béla Rásky

Racheli Kreisberg, PhD, is a scientist by training in the field of biotechnology and bioinformatics and manager of IBEXPERTS Ltd. She is also a genealogist who reconstructs family trees with a special focus on records from the Yad Vashem database of Holocaust victims. She is the granddaughter of Simon Wiesenthal and has dedicated considerable time and effort to commemorating her grandfather. On the occasion of his tenth Yahrzeit, Keren Kayemet LeIsrael, the Jewish National Fund, inaugurated the Simon Wiesenthal Path in the Forest of Martyrs.


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