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Reopening on 8 February


From 8 February 2021, the VWI's archive and library are accessible again. Registration via telephone or e-mail is required since the reading room allows only one person at the same time.

The museum can be accessed by a maximum of two people at the same time. In all cases a FFP2-mask is mandatory and also the minimum distance of two metres has to be guaranteed.



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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Refugees and Citizens. New Nation States as Places of Asylum, 1914–1941

From Thursday, 16. June 2016 -  09:00
To Friday, 17. June 2016 - 17:30

Bruno-Kreisky-Forum für internationalen Dialog, Armbrustergasse 15, 1190 Wien


ProgrammeOver the past few decades, the refugee policies of Western states during the interwar period have been thoroughly examined, focusing on the restrictive actions of closed borders. Yet refugees are not only a ‘Western’ subject nor only a ‘Western’ discussion. This workshop focuses on refugees and refugee policies in the new nation states created in Eastern, South Eastern and Central Europe and beyond as a result of the First World War. It will examine how the often increasingly nationalist and authoritarian regimes became places of asylum, even if only temporary ones. In the new nation states, refugee policies were formulated against the background of new and contested rules of citizenship, freshly drawn borders, minority policies and transfers. Their creation, as well as territorial revisions, contributed to the problem of statelessness. Often, the idealised concept of ‘the citizen’ was used as an argument against those refugees and migrants deemed unsuitable for national citizenship.

Until now, refugee policies as well as legislation, discourses and debates, in most of these states, has remained understudied and rarely placed in a wider transnational context. Therefore, existing comparative research needs to be extended by examining refugees in these regions in the context of the broader population, migration and citizenship policies and discourses on legislation. Starting with the mass exodus during the First World War, through to the forced migrations after the Paris Peace Treaties, the population exchanges/expulsions in South-Eastern Europe and the politics of political asylum up to the attack on the Soviet Union in 1941, this area remains an essential topic for scholarship.


In cooperation with:

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Abstracts & CVs



Thursday, 16 June 2016
Chair: Béla RÁSKY (Wiener Wiesenthal Institut für Holocaust-Studien, VWI)

Bernhard PERCHINIG (Universität Wien)
Grenzüberschreitende Mobilität und internationaler Flüchtlingsschutz. Spannungsfelder und Herausforderungen
Coffee Break

Chair: Éva KOVÁCS (Wiener Wiesenthal Institut für Holocaust-Studien, VWI)
Itai APTER (University of Haifa)
International Refugee Law and Places of Asylum in the Interwar Period.
Utilising Contemporary Tools to Understand the Past

Raphael HEINETSBERGER (Universität Hamburg)
Das deutsche ‚Volk‘ der Staatenlosen. Über den Zusammenhang von Entstaatlichung und Entgrenzung der Gewalt

Aviezer TUCKER (Harvard University, Cambridge)
Non-territorial States. The Alternative Response to the Refugee Crisis

Lunch Break

Chair: Börries KUZMANY (Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften)

14:25 Francesco FRIZZERA (Università degli Studi di Trento)
„Verwaltungsobjekte, nicht Staatsbürger“. The Roots of the Refugee Policies Developed in the Habsburg Successor States

14:50 Ana ĆIRIĆ PAVLOVIĆ (Center for Society Development, Budapest-Belgrade)
A Multinational Heaven for Refugees? The Interwar South Slavs’ Kingdom

15:15 Anisa HASANHODŽIĆ / Rifet RUSTEMOVIĆ (Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien) Being Refugee.
Austrian Jewish Refugees in the Territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina before and during the Second World War

15:40 Kinga FROJIMOVICS (Yad Vashem / Wiener Wiesenthal Institut für Holocaust-Studien, VWI)
Jewish Refugees in the Hospitals of the Jewish Community of Pest from 1938 Onwards

16:05 Discussion

16:45 Coffee Break

Chair: Michal FRANKL (Židovské muzeum v Praze)


17:15 Ines KOELTZSCH (Masarykův ústav a archiv Akademie věd České Republiky, Praha)
Beyond the Cities. East European Jewish Refugees in the Bohemian and Moravian Countryside during the First World War

17:40 Kathryn DENSFORD (George Washington University, Washington DC)
From Fellow Citizens to Unwanted Foreigners. Refugees along the Lower Austrian-Moravian Border, 1914–1919

18:05 Jernej KOSI (Univerza v Ljubljani)
Refugees in their Own Homeland. Slovene Population from Austrian Littoral between Evacuation, Repatriation, and Emigration, 1915 –1925

18:30 Discussion
Friday, 17 June 2016

Chair: Jana STAREK (Wiener Wiesenthal Institut für Holocaust-Studien, VWI)

9:30 Dieter GOSEWINKEL (Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung / Freie Universität Berlin)
Citizenship. The Principal Form of Political Belonging in Twentieth Century Europe

10:30 Coffee Break
Chair: Victoria HARMS (Herder-Institut, Marburg)

11:00 Wolfgang SCHELLENBACHER (Židovské muzeum v Praze)
From Political Activism to Disillusionment. Austrian Socialist Refugees in Czechoslovakia, 1934 –1938

11:25 Maria BYCHKOVA (Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien, Hannover)
Kulturleben des russischen Exils im Berlin der 1920er-Jahre. Zwischen Kooperation und Abgrenzung

11:50 Tatiana TETEREVLEVA (Northern [Arctic] Federal University, Arkhangelsk)
Russian Refugees in Interwar Norway. Public Opinion and Development of Government Policy

12:15 Discussion

12:45 Lunch Break
Chair: Wolfgang SCHELLENBACHER (Židovské muzeum v Praze)
14:00 Michal FRANKL (Židovské muzeum v Praze)
From Benevolence to Exclusion. Anti-Jewish Refugee Policy and the Transformation of Jewish Citizenship in Czechoslovakia, 1935 –1939

14:25 Alina BOTHE (Freie Universität Berlin)
Polish-Jewish Deportees in 1938. Refugees or Aroysgeshikte?

14:50 Benjamin NAUJOKS (Universität zu Köln)
Litauen 1917–1941. Exklusion und Verdrängen als Prinzip

15:15 Coffee Break
15:35 Naida-Mihal BRANDL (Sveučilište u Zagrebu / University of Zagreb)
Jewish Refugees from 1933 until 1943 in Croatia in the Shadow of the Holocaust

16:00 Adina BABEȘ (Institutul Naţional pentru Studierea Holocaustului din România “Elie Wiesel”, București)
Between Emigration and Extermination. Solving the ‘Jewish problem’ in the 1940s Romania

16:25 Discussion
17:15 Farewell Coffee

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The Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI) is funded by:


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