Editorial


S:I.M.O.N. is an e-journal of the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI). It appears twice a year in English and German language. S:I.M.O.N. aims at both a transnational and comparative history of the Holocaust and Jewish Studies in Central and Eastern Europe within the broader contexts of the European history of the 20th and 21st century, including its prehistory, consequences and legacies as well as the history of memory.

S:I.M.O.N. serves as a forum for discussion of various methodological approaches. The journal especially wishes to strengthen the exchange between researchers from different scientific communities and to integrate both the Jewish history and the history of the Holocaust into the different “national” narratives. It also lays a special emphasis on memory studies and the analysis of politics of memory.  S:I.M.O.N. uses a double-blind review system, which means that both the reviewer’s and the author’s identities are concealed from each other hroughout the review process.

Shoah: The journal deals with the history of the Shoah from multidisciplinary, transnational and comparative perspectives. It seeks to integrate studies on Jews as well as on other groups of victims of the Holocaust, especially on Roma, and of so far less researched regions of (East) Central and (South) Eastern Europe.

Intervention. The journal reports on research projects and their transmission into public events. It also informs about current educational and remembrance programs.

Methods. The journal serves as a forum for the discussion of methodological approaches as, for instance, the everyday history, oral history, gender history, the history of violence, anti-Semitism and racism and the theory of memory and memory politics.

DocumentatiON. The journal contributes to critical approaches on using and interpreting archival materials in the 21st century. 

Download the current issue S:I.M.O.N. 2017/1.

Articles

Download PDFThis paper offers a close reading of a memorandum submitted by the medical students at the University of Vienna in January 1924. In the document, the students vividly described a crisis caused by insufficient supply of the so called medical cadavers which disturbed the training of future physicians. In order to solve the crisis effectively, the students pled for introducing new procedures that forced transfer of cadavers of all patients who had passed away either in hospitals, other institutions or private houses who had not been claimed by family members. Remarkably, the 1924 memorandum underscored not only the urgency of the crisis that required an immediate solution but also the non-partisan character of the appeal, signed by the students of the First and Second Institutes of Anatomy "with no difference of party affiliation". It underplayed the presence of anti-Semitism at the University of Vienna and the hostility against visibility of Jewish students at the Medical Department. The paper suggests that the memorandum ought to be understood in the context of the so-called cadaver affair at other universities in Central and Eastern Europe.

SWL-Reader

Download PDFCzernowitz was the Habsburg Empire's „Vienna of the East“; it had a lively German-speaking Jewish community, almost all of whom were persecuted or murdered during the time of the Second World War. Yet the memory of Cernowitz lives on, passed on as it is by survivors and their descendants “like a wonderful present“ and a „relentless curse“, as noted by Aharon Appelfeld. We find evidence of old Cernowitz in historical reports, memoirs, documents and literary works. These include impressive contributions by Cernowitz-born writers.

In their lecture, Marianne Hirsch and Leo Spitzer focussed primarily on materials from family albums and collections in order to tap into the world of Jewish Cernowitz before its destruction. In particular, they analysed street photographs depicting daily life which had been taken on the city's streets before the Second World War and during the occupation by Romanian fascists and their allies from Nazi Germany. What do these ordinary and apparently opaque images tell us about the rich and diverse past? We were astonished to discover that they tell and show us a lot in that they reveal both more and less than we had expected.

Events

Download PDFDuring the clerical-fascist Slovak State, "Tóno" Brtko, a docile and poor carpenter, is offered the possibility to 'aryanise' the small Main Street sewing accessories shop of Rozália Lautmannová. Torn between his good-natured principles and his greedy wife Evelyna, he finally agrees to take over the shop by making the deaf and senile lady believe he is her nephew arriving to help her out. Yet he then discovers that the business is bankrupt, and Ms. Lautmannová is only relying on donations from the Jewish community. While letting his wife believe he is making money from the shop, he gradually becomes a supporter of the old lady. More and more, a cordial relationship between the two evolves. When the Slovak authorities finally decide to deport the Jewish population of the small town, Tóno, in a deep conflict with himself and his values, finally opts for hiding Ms. Lautmannová – a decision which turns into tragedy. Obchod na korze won the 'Oscar' for Best Foreign Language Film in 1966. The film was presented on the occasion of a VWI-Visuals presentation on 29 January 2015 in Vienna's Admiralkino.

Die ungarische Zwangsarbeit in Wien, in den Jahren 1944/45, deren Spuren wir im Rahmen des Projekts „BEWEGT ERINNERN“ am 27. Mai 2014 freilegen wollten, ist eine Erinnerungsgeschichte, die innerhalb der Wiener Stadtgeschichte einen „blinden Fleck“ darstellt. Die Spuren dieser wichtigen Erinnerung offenbaren sich weder in der Stadtarchitektur noch im Stadtmobiliar auf eine lesbare Art und Weise, es existieren auch keine Erinnerungsorte, die unsere Aufmerksamkeit auf diesen Inhalt oder auf diese Identität lenken würden. Für die Wienerinnen und Wiener sind es womöglich Räume, welche in anderen Stadtgeschichten eine Rolle spielen, mit der betrachteten Epoche aber nicht mehr in Verbindung gebracht werden, da sie ja auch keine erkennbaren oder deutlichen „Zeichen“ oder „Spuren“ dieser Geschichte auf der Haut tragen. Aus diesem Grund ist es wichtig, eine Geschichte, eine Erinnerung, die sehr wohl noch besteht und präsent ist, auch wenn sie in der Textur der Stadt kaum mehr zu erkennen ist, wieder in die Erinnerung zu rufen, indem man an gewissen Orten dieser Geschichte gedenkt. Durch die Gedenkfahrt wurde also eine Veränderung des Stadtbildes angestrebt, indem Erinnerungsorte hinzugefügt wurden, um ein tieferes Verständnis von Räumen zu erlangen.

Die Idee einer Bustour durch Wien im Gedenken an ungarische Zwangsarbeiterinnen und Zwangsarbeiter 1944/45 bot die Gelegenheit, unsere, im Rahmen des Lehrgangs Social Design – Arts as Urban Innovation an der Universität für Angewandte Kunst theoretisch erarbeiteten Konzepte auch praktisch umzusetzen. Die Gedenktour wurde so zu einem Versuch, durch ein tieferes Verständnis von mental und real verschütteten und vergessenen Identitäten von Räumen, die individuelle Rekonstruktion eines Stadtbildes zu bewirken, indem wir diesem neue Erinnerungsorte hinzufügten. Es ging um einen Prozess, der eine persönliche Aneignung der Stadt und ihrer Identität anregt, aber auch umsetzt.

 

Booklet als PDF herunterladen