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VWI invites/goes to...
Kinga Frojimovics: The Relations between the Jewish Community of Pest and the Jewish Community of Vienna between 1938 and 1941

Mittwoch, 2. April 2014, 15:00 - 16:30

Community Center of the Jewish Community of Vienna, 1010 Vienna, Seitenstettengasse 2


VWI goes to to the Community Center of the Jewish Community of Vienna.


In 1938, the Jewish Community of Pest (PIH) and the Jewish Community of Vienna (IKG) were the two largest Jewish communities of Central Europe. By 1938, the two Jewish communities had cultivated strong relationships with each other for over a century. However, the nature of the relationships between the two Jewish communities had changed drastically now. As a consequence of increasing official anti-Jewish discrimination, ties of social and legal aid had exclusively replaced any other kind of relationships. The following areas had been central to the mutual work of extending social and legal aid to each other:

  • religious life, chiefly issues of kashrut,
  • social aid for members of the community,
  • emigration from Austria after the Anschluß, and
  • issues concerning one's Hungarian citizenship after the anti-Jewish legislation.

A systematic study of the relationship between the two communities between 1938 and 1941 will enable us to understand how these increasingly adversely influenced central institutions of Jewish life attempted to assist their members and each other during the first phase of the Holocaust. To show, how the two communities cooperated and tried to help each other is crucial, since these Jewish institutions are routinely portrayed even in historical works as isolationist bodies that were utterly uninvolved and uninterested in the problems of the Jewish world in general.

The lecture will explore how their ties between 1938 and 1941 (until the beginning of the mass deportation of Viennese Jews) influenced the behaviour of the two communities and their members both in the later phases of the Holocaust and in its aftermath. The ties of legal and social aid provided a viable model as well as a context for later patterns of relationship within and also without the Jewish world.

Comments by Susanne Uslu-Pauer

Kinga Frojimovics is Research Fellow at the VWI. From 2007, she is the director of the Hungarian Section in Yad Vashem Archives (Jerusalem, Israel). From 2010, she is also a research associate at Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, Brandeis University (Waltham, MA, USA). Her field of research is the history of the Jews in Hungary in the nineteenth and in the twen-tieth centuries. She focuses on the history of the Jewish religious trends in Hungary and on the Holocaust. She is the co-editor of MAKOR, the Series of the Hungarian Jewish Archives (Budapest).

Susanne Uslu-Pauer is the Head of the Archive of the Jewish Community in Vienna.




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