100 stations on the Path of Remembrance
Inauguration of the 4th part on May 17 2009 in Haidgasse 1
Many people came to take part in the solemn inauguration of the 4th part of the Path of Remembrance. Family members arrived from remote countries like Australia, the USA, Israel and even Tanzania.
After the reading of the Federal President’s salutatory message, the city’s cultural councillor Andreas Mailath-Pokorny and head of the district Gerhard Kubik recognized the significance of this commemoration project for the second district and for Vienna, especially in a period in which people again attempt to make policy with racist and anti-Semitic slogans.
Peter Schwarz, who is not only a representative of ESRA the consulting and treatment centre for survivors of the holocaust, but also a relative of a victim, highlighted in his speech the importance of remembrance for traumatised people and the societal responsibility of dealing with the past. Also his uncle Felix Burian gave a spontaneous speech.
Shulamit Locker, who had lived in Floßgasse 9, presented a very touching speech. At the age of 12 she had been forced to say goodbye to her mother forever. She thanked her mother for giving her life for the second time by helping her to escape.
Lisl Hacker rose to speak as representative of the generation of great grand children. She always wanted to understand the culture and the language of her grandparents, to comprehend the family history. ‘When I speak German and when I meet my friends here in Austria, my grandparents and all my ancestors still live.’ Elisabeth Ben David-Hindler pointed out in her speech that many people contribute to the success of this project, who make history ‘from below’ together with the association Stones of Remembrance. She found it particularly noteworthy that in 2009 seven stations were initiated by current tenants for former Jewish tenants.
The musical framework was provided by the duo Sholem Alejchem. The audience enjoyed the performance very much and several attendants sang and clapped along.
The following walk along several stations and also the second walk after the lunch break was attended by many people.