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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

New memorial in Vienna commemorates Jewish victims of Nazism

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Austria will unveil a new memorial in central Vienna to more than 64,000 victims of the Nazi regime.

A “Wall of Names” — made up of 160 oval granite memorial stones — will cover an area of 2,500 square metres in a park.

An accompanying plaque will also honour other victims who suffered persecution before and during World War II.

The Austrian government says the memorial will be a “tangible symbol of its responsibility” for the murder of 64,450 Jews.

“The names are indelibly engraved,” Constitution Minister Karoline Edtstadler said in a statement ahead of the ceremony on Tuesday.

The project was co-financed by the Austrian government and was launched by Holocaust survivor Kurt Yakov Tutter, who fled Vienna in 1939 with his family.

Its unveiling takes place exactly 83 years after Kristallnacht (the Night of the Broken Glass) — the mass pogrom of Jews in Germany and annexed Austria in 1938.

Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg and the President of Vienna’s Jewish community, Oskar Deutsch, will attend the opening, alongside Israel’s Minister of Diaspora Affairs Nachman Shai.

“83 years ago today, the systematic persecution, dispossession and extermination of Jewish life in Austria by the Nazi regime reached a tragic low point,” Edtstadler said on Twitter.

“It is the responsibility of us all to ensure that these atrocities are never forgotten.”

Before World War II, there were around 192,000 Jews in Austria, almost 4% of the population.

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