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Simon Wiesenthal Lectures

 

The Simon Wiesenthal lecture series takes place regularly every six to eight weeks and aims to present the latest research findings on the Holocaust to both a professional and a broader audience. They take into account the impressive spectrum of this discipline, the numerous questions and issues from empirical-analytical historiography to topics of cultural studies and involve young scholars as well as established academics.

 

Since 2007, when the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI) was still being established, the lecture series – at that time in cooperation with the Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance (DÖW) and the Institute of Contemporary History at the University of Vienna– has developed into the flagship of the VWI's outreach activities as a supporting element in the communication of recent academic findings in the field of Holocaust research and Holocaust and genocide studies.

 

For over a decade, the Austrian State Archives generously offered shelter to the Simon Wiesenthal Lectures in the roof foyer of the Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv. During the challenging years of the pandemic, the lectures were held online. From autumn 2022, in order to reach out to further audiences, a new cooperation partner was found in the Wien Museum. Until the reopening of the main location at Karlsplatz, the SWL will take place at MUSA, Felderstraße 6-8, next to the Vienna City Hall.

 

 

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

 

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