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Simon Wiesenthal Lectures

 

The Simon Wiesenthal Lecture series has been held in collaboration with the Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance (DÖW) and the Institute of Contemporary History at the University of Vienna since 2007, when the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI) was still being established. As an important aspect of the task of education on recent academic insights in the fields of Holocaust research and genocide studies, the lecture series has developed into the VWI's education flagship.

 

The lectures take place every six to eight weeks, with renowned scholars presenting the most recent research insights on the Holocaust to a professional audience as well as a broader public. They showcase the impressive spectrum of this discipline, its numerous questions and issues ranging from empirical-analytical historiography to topics of cultural scholarship, and involve young scholars as well as established academics.

 

The Austrian State Archive as our co-operation partner has since June 2010 provided us with the perfect location for our lectures: the rooftop foyer of the “Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv” at Minoritenplatz in Vienna. This location at the rear façade of the Federal Chancellery of the Republic of Austria is symbolic of the reappraisal of the Holocaust in Austria: After all, this history had been marginalised for decades, just like its immediate historical antecedent, Austrian antisemitism, was cut out of history, its appraisal shoved aside for victims and their descendants to deal with. This has only changed in recent times. The Shoah has simultaneously been moving ever closer to the centre of Austrian historical awareness. It has slowly emerged from the repressed periphery and out of the realm of taboo and silence and into the focus of understanding of Austria’s most recent history. Thus, the Simon Wiesenthal Lectures are held at a place that represents the symbolic and real centre of the Republic and is at the same time also an instance of this turn in the Austrian perception of its own history.

 

 

Simon Wiesenthal Lecture
Tim Cole: Holocaust Landscapes: Mapping ghettoization in Hungary
   

Thursday, 16. February 2012, 18:30

Dachfoyer des Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchivs, Minoritenplatz 1, 1010 Wien

 

This lecture seeks to examine both the wartime mapping out of ghettos by local officials, and the contemporary mapping of ghettoization by the academic researcher as a way to uncover the shifting motivations and experiences of both Jews and non-Jews during the Holocaust in Hungary. In part, the lecture seeks to contribute to recent scholarship on the Hungarian Holocaust by examining the complex involvement of local officials in implementing crucial elements such as the concentration of Jews. But the lecture also seeks to ask broader methodological questions by considering the potential of the so-called ‘spatial turn’ in the ‘digital humanities’ to ask-and answer-new questions. In short, the lecture seeks to explore whether geographical approaches have the potential to contribute to the interdisciplinary field of Holocaust Studies in general and study of the ghettoization in particular.

Tim Cole teaches history at the University of Bristol in the UK. He is the author of Images of the Holocaust/Selling the Holocaust (1999), Holocaust City: The Making of a Jewish Ghetto (2003) and Traces of the Holocaust: Journeying in and out of the Ghettos (2011). The latter two books explore the spatiality of ghettoization in Budapest and social histories of the Holocaust in Hungary respectively. He is currently working on a new book provisionally entitled Holocaust Landscapes that explores the places and spaces where the Holocaust was enacted, experienced and evaded and has been variously remembered and forgotten in the post-war world. He is involved in co-leading an international research group that applies geographical methodologies and approaches to studying the Holocaust, and is a co-editor of a forthcoming volume on Geographies of the Holocaust.

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

 

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