Festive Opening of Five New Stations of the “Stones of Remembrance” in Innere Stadt (1st District)
The day’s ceremony began under a bright sun in the summer-green Schillerpark with the musicians of the “Avanim” ensemble playing a new song: “Mayn Ruheplatz” (Daliah Hindler – vocals, Christoph Kögler – accordion, guitar, vocals, Agnes Riha – violin).
Roswitha Hammer opened the afternoon, welcoming everyone and presenting the itinerary to be followed during the event. Ms. Anita Dumfahrt, Secretary General of the Future Fund, then spoke, expressing her pleasure at participating in this important ceremony.
Following her speech, Marcus Figl, District Chairman, referred to the Franz Werfels monument in the park and reminded us of the story of Schiller’s novel Musa Dagh and its relevance for the purpose of the gathering today. He thanked the “Stones of Remembrance Association” for their work in the context of the culture of remembrance and for “keeping all this alive”. A number of other politicians from the 1st District were also present, including District Councillors Ms Davis, Mr Dreier and Mr Willenig.
Roswitha Hammer then introduced the work of the Association and outlined the pandemic measures that were to be followed throughout the course of the day.
A stone was initiated at this address by Shai Cohen for his grandfather, Dr. Moritz Zalman, and his colleague, Irene Harand. In attendance were Irene Harland’s great niece, Katja, and her son, Jakob.
Ernst Löschner paid tribute to the “Prophet Harland”, recounting his deep admiration for Irene Harland’s extraordinary life as a courageous resistance fighter, and about her book: “His Struggle”, which was a treatise against racial hatred and human misery.
Here, a stone was laid for Selma Richter, Kurt Richter and Albert Richter. Initiated by Dinah Rosenberg from Israel for her great cousin and his family, she was joined for the ceremony by her nephew, Mr. Phil Richter, who travelled from New York to be present. Phil Richter spoke about his grandfather and said how amazing it was for him to discover so many people in Vienna speaking ‘the same strange English’ that his grandfather had spoken.
A stone was laid here for Dr. Helene Eissler, Dr. Georg Eissler, Sidonie Rosenberg and Karoline Fleischner. Initiated by Karina Urbach for her two great aunts, Karin wrote how her mother, Alice Urbach, the sister of the two women being honoured, managed to survive. Alice Urbach was an Austro-Jewish cookbook author and entrepreneur. Her cookbook “How to cook in Vienna! A cookery and housekeeping book for home-style cooking ”was a bestseller, but the Nazis “Aryanized” her work and had it re-published under a different author’s name. Although Karin Urbach was unfortunately not able to attend, she was represented by a friend of the family, Mr. Harald Stolzenberg.
A stone was laid here to honour the memory of Clara Ruhmann and Anna Maria Sanditz. Initiated by Ann Hallam from Australia for her great-grandmother and great-great-aunt, she was sadly not able to be present due to the pandemic. However, Daliah Hindler read aloud the moving family story that Ann Hallam had prepared.
A stone for Salomon and Maltschi Weibel was laid here, initiated by their granddaughter Claudia Della Lucia. Ms Della Lucia and her two daughters, Tamara and Vivien, as well as their children were all in attendance. Unfortunately, she had few personal memories to recount because Claudia’s father was unable to talk about the cruel experiences he had endured during his life.
Two other residents of this address who were victims of the Holocaust: Berta and Eduard Sucharipa, were also remembered.