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Crime Scene Graz-Wetzelsdorf 1945


History – Memory – Commemoration


This project addresses one of the largest Nazi crimes committed on Austrian soil in the end phase of the war in 1945, which has been largely forgotten: the murder of over 250 people in the SS barracks in Graz-Wetzelsdorf, today known as the Belgierkaserne. To this day, this crime has neither been judicially dealt with nor has it been the subject of a systematic scholarly appraisal. Thus, only very little concrete information exists on this event.


In 2010, surviving mass graves were discovered in the barracks. In the context of the memorial year 2020 and the 75th anniversary of the end of the war, this project aims to subject this crime to systematic scholarly analysis, to name the forgotten victims, and to shine a light on the perpetration and especially on the structure of the Waffen-SS association involved, the only one that was stationed in Styria. The project aims ultimately to produce the first ever publication on the ‘Wetzelsdorf case’.


This crime needs to be placed in the context of the death marches of Hungarian Jewish forced labourers, a little explored field which will therefore be augmented decisively by this study. The project moreover entails a memorial culture aspect since the former crime scene is located in the midst of a barracks of the Austrian Armed Forces. In cooperation with this partner, the project will therefore develop forms of commemoration that will ensure a lasting impact for the project.


The project, which is planned to last 14 months and is funded by the Zukunftsfonds and the Nationalfonds, is based at the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI) and is being conducted by Nicole-Melanie Goll together with Georg Hoffmann.


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May 2024
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The Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI) is funded by:


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