Happy Birthday Israel

22.02.2023 – 02.07.2023

Happy Birthday Israel

Museum Dorotheergasse

In 2023 the State of Israel celebrates his 75th anniversary. The Jewish Museum Vienna dedicates to this jubilee an exhibition. We look forward to celebrating with you a dream come true.


Waiting Room of Hope

Happy Birthday Israel
After the end of World War II, the survivors of the Shoah had to consider where they wanted to be. A return to their Eastern European countries of origin was out of the question. Around 300,000 displaced persons (DPs) were housed temporarily in camps in the American occupied zone of Austria. Most of them sought to emigrate to Palestine or the USA.
Everyone who could was trying to create a new and better life for themselves. Everyday life in the DP camps therefore included language courses and professional training, but also religious, cultural, and sporting activities.
As entry into the British mandate of Palestine was not legally possible, Zionist groups and associations advocating the founding of a Jewish state came to the fore. Their inspiration was Theodor Herzl, who under the threat of antisemitism had published a book in Vienna in 1895 entitled The Jewish State, giving birth in this way to political Zionism.
The proclamation of the State of Israel by David Ben-Gurion on May 14, 1948, marked the end for the occupants of the DP camps of the “waiting for hope.” The vast majority of the survivors moved to the new state and only a few remained in Austria. For Jews in the Diaspora Israel has always been a refuge in times of persecution.
This cabinet exhibition shows photos from the DP camps in Austria before and after the founding of the State of Israel. We have therefore invited our visitors at the opening to design the rest of the room themselves by drawing or writing their congratulations on the 75th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel.

Curators: Barbara Staudinger, Sabine Apostolo, Marcus G. Patka, 
Design: Stefan Fuhrer