Servitengasse 1938. Searching for local traces

The 9th district, Alsergrund, had the highest percentage of Jewish inhabitants in Vienna after the 2nd district. Yet despite this, there are relatively few places today where these people are remembered. The project Servitengasse 1938 is a citizens' initiative, supported by the local council, which actively carries out memory work.

The project's aim is to initiate a many-layered discussion of our own past in dialogue with local residents. To this end, the fates of the persecuted and deported Jews of an entire street - the Servitengasse - were investigated in a research project.

The results showed that over half of the residents in March 1938 came from Jewish families. But who were these people? Where did they work? Did they have children? Did they manage to escape the Nazi terror or were they murdered in a concentration camp? Are there survivors or descendents? These are the questions motivating the group.

Commemorating the victims of National Socialism, initiating and maintaining contact with survivors, as well as dialogue with local residents, are at the heart of the group's activities. A book of the research results, a film about the project, a memorial in the centre of the Servitengasse and several events testify to these efforts.

In order to inspire similar projects, the group co-operates closely with schools, exchanges ideas with other groups and also passes on its knowledge through adult education courses. Activities are co-ordinated in regular group meetings, where current issues and future goals are also discussed. The search for survivors from the Servitengasse also continues.