Book presentation: Johann Hagenhofer / Gert Dressel / Werner Sulzgruber (eds.) “Eine versunkene Welt. Jüdisches Leben in der Region Bucklige Welt – Wechselland”
"I come from another world, a lost world, a world that no longer exists, one from which all traces have been obliterated and which will never be resurrected.” This is what Friedrich Blum writes in a 1996 letter recalling his childhood, youth and flight. Born in 1914 and raised in Krumbach in the Bucklige Welt region of southeast Lower Austria, he fled in 1938 via Switzerland to southern France, where he survived, emigrating to to Canada after the war.
Since the middle of the 19th century, many Jewish women and men, mainly from the former West Hungary, settled in towns of the Bucklige Welt and Wechselland region in southeastern Lower Austria. They earned their livelihood first as peddlers, then mostly as merchants, and were – despite ever-present anti-Semitism – well integrated into everyday community life. Jewish industrialists and summer visitors had also taken up residence in the area. However, with the “Anschluss” in 1938, Jewish life also came to a violent end in the Bucklige Welt and in Wechselland.
A 21-person research team— made up of local and regional historians for the most part – discovered and evaluated numerous traces of Jewish history in the localities of the region. Shoah survivors and their descendants were interviewed, countless archive sources accessed and previously unpublished photograph found. The book “Eine versunkene Welt” presents a comprehensive history of Jewish life in the Bucklige Welt and in Wechselland for the first time.
Johann Hagenhofer, historian, retired grammar school director, adult educator, founder of the museum “Gedenkraum 1945” in Hochwolkersdorf, publisher and author of the regional books “Lebensspuren I – III,” initiator and leader of contemporary history projects in the Bucklige Welt – Wechselland region.
Gert Dressel, historian, research assistant at the Collection of Biographical Records and at the Department of Nursing Science (both: University of Vienna); director of, consultant to, and collaborator in numerous life history-oriented projects in research and education, among other things, in the Bucklige Welt.
Werner Sulzgruber, historian, former school director, author of scholarly articles and publications on Jewish history and contemporary history, cultural mediator, lecturer in education and culture, founder of the “Educational and Memorial Site Jewish Cemetery Wiener Neustadt” and the TOWN project about Wiener Neustadt: www.zeitgeschichte-wn.at.
A LEADER Region Bucklige Welt – Wechselland event in cooperation with the Jewish Museum Vienna and the Kral-Verlag (www.kral-verlag.at).
Following the book presentation, the Bucklige Welt – Wechselland region invites you to bread and wine.
Advance booking requested: Tel.: +43 1 535 04 31-1510 or e-mail: email@example.com.
Free admission as of 6:15 pm
Photo (c) Centropa