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Judenplatz Holocaust Memorial

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Judenplatz Holocaust Memorial

Judenplatz.jpg

Basic Information

Location 48° 12′ 42″ N, 16° 22′ 8″ E
Country Vienna
City Judenplatz

General Information

Open to visitors yes
Need appointment no
Handicap accessibility yes
Website http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judenplatz_Holocaust_Memorial
Geographical Coordinates 48.21165,16.36883


Summary

The Judenplatz Holocaust Memorial, also known as the Nameless Library, stands in Judenplatz in the first district of Vienna. It is the central memorial for the Austrian victims of the Holocaust and was designed by the British artist Rachel Whiteread.

General

The memorial began with an initiative of Simon Wiesenthal. It was built by the city of Vienna under the Mayor Michael Haupl, after the design by Rachel Whiteread was chosen unanimously by an international jury under the leadership of the architect Hans Hollein. Individuals and teams of artists and architects from Austria, Israel, Great Britain and the United States were invited to the competition. The submissions had to take into account the design constraints of the site at Judenplatz, and texts including a memorial inscription and the listing of all concentration camps in which Austrian Jews were killed.

Originally scheduled to be finished on 9 November 1996, the 58th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the completion was delayed for four years due to various controversies, both political and aesthetic, but also setbacks due to concerns over the archaeological excavations beneath the site.

The memorial was unveiled on 25 October 2000, one day before the Austrian national holiday.






Notes

Judenplatz and the memorial are unique in Europe. The square unites the excavations of the medieval synagogue underground, that was burned down in the "Viennese Geserah" of 1420, with the modern memorial above ground. On the ground floor of the neighboring Misrachi house, names and data of the 65,000 murdered Austrian Jews, and the circumstances that led to their persecution and murder, are publicly presented. The museum at the Judenplatz, which is in the Misrachi house, has a permanent exhibition about the history of Judenplatz, and the foundations of the destroyed Or-Sarua synagogue directly under the memorial can be visited.


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