Festive Opening of Four New Stations of Remembrance in the Inner City on May 3, 2018.
Under glorious sunshine in the Hermann Gmeiner Park, the musical duo Klezmer Reloaded, consisting of clarinettist Maciej Golebiowski and accordionist Alexander Shevchenko opened the afternoon by playing the song “Donna Donna”.
Roswitha Hammer spoke on behalf of the Association to welcome attendees and presented the new stations to be opened that day, as well as their initiators.
A short speech of welcome was given by Patricia Davis representating the 1st District Council. She was subsequently thanked by the Association, including the precious support provided by the District. Special thanks were also given for the continuing support of our volunteers and donors.
Following this short ceremony, the first station of the day was opened at Schottenring 35 where the life of Dr. Günther Fischer was remembered by his nephew, Wolfgang Fischer of Vienna. Wolfgang Fischer had himself lived in this house for several years before he had fled with his family. He said that until 1989 and the opening up of the archives in Moscow, the family had known nothing about the whereabouts and death of his uncle. It was only then that they learned with certainty of his murder in Auschwitz.
Daliah Hindler then read a text about another resident: Bertha Hofmann. She spoke on behalf of her relatives, Jenny Pfalzner and her family from Canada, who unfortunately could not be present. She also spoke of three additional women who were thought to have been deported from this address.
To close the station, the Klezmer Reloaded duo played a moving rendition of Dmitri Shostakovich’s Waltz No. 2.
The participants then proceeded to the next station at Franz Josefskai 21 where Daliah Hindler continued the ceremony by reading out the few known facts about former resident Simon Lifschütz. His nephew, Enrico Lamet, from the USA was unable to travel due to his advanced age.
Lydia Cevidalli then spoke on behalf of her family in Italy and England, about her great-grandmother: Flora Strakosch. Ms Cevidalli’s husband then performed the Kaddish.
The group then moved to Fleischmarkt 20 where 86-year-old Shaul Spielmann from Israel remembered his parents Josefine and Benno Spielmann. Thankfully the group was offered the possibility to enter the courtyard of the house where Mr. Spielmann recounted the time he’d spent there as a small child.
Amercian Irv Adler, also a relative of Shaul Spielmann and initiator of the memorial stone, spoke about their family.
We then moved to Fleischmarkt 22 where Judy Schulman from California remembered her great aunt Rosa Weisz with very touching words.