The Schlaff Collection
In 1993, Martin Schlaff donated his collection of around 5,000 objects to the Jewish Museum Vienna. This collection has a special place within the museum inventory. It includes figurines, everyday objects, postcards, documents and books reflecting anti-Semitic attitudes. The collector wanted to make the objects and documents available for research but also wished quite deliberately to remove them from the market and from buyers with anti-Semitic sentiments. The three-dimensional objects from the Schlaff Collection can be seen in the Visible Storage area of the museum as a way of demonstrating quite simply that images are formed in the mind and that the stereotypes are created by the cultural legacy that determines our view of the world and of ourselves. The showcases have mirrors, and the figures have their backs turned to the visitors, who cannot thus see their faces clearly and are also confronted by their own reflection. In an interview shown together with the Collection in the Visible Storage area, Martin Schlaff describes very personally what prompted him to start the collection and why, in his opinion. It belongs in the Jewish Museum Vienna.