Inauguration Ceremonies for Four New Stones in Alsergrund on June 13, 2017
A large crowd that included relatives, sponsors, representatives from the District and the Cultural Commission, as well as interested citizens and supporters of the Stein der Erinnerung Association gathered under marvelous sunshine in the park by the Votivkirche.
Avanim opened the ceremony with a new song from their repertory: “Shtil, die nacht is ojsgeshternt”.
Afterwards, Matthias Beier welcomed the guests: “Each and every stone symbolises people that lived and worked here … Today, many Viennese tend these Stones, cleaning them and keeping an eye out for them…”
Thomas Lieblich, Deputy District Head, expressed his pleasure that so many had come to place Stones for their relatives, stressing that “… We must remember, we will remember, and we must never forget …”.
Following these speeches, we visited the new stations together.
Neta Rimon-Palevsky and his family traveled from Israel to commemorate their grandparents, Armin and Rosa Reichmann.
Daliah Hindler read out a text describing research on the lives of Elsa and Ernst Lion from the ceremony brochure. (Text in the 4th Part of the Stones of Remembrance brochure for Alsergrund).
Amon Ram from Israel, Gideon Tomaschoff from Canada and Evey Kurlander from England gathered with their families to commemorate their grandparents and great-grandparents: Moritz and Charlotte Nasch at their last residence.
A very touching poem entiteld “Remember” was recited from a Jewish prayer book.
(Text in the 4th Part of the Stones of Remembrance brochure for Alsergrund).
Lesley (Pollak) Woodfin, Uzi Welish and Rafael Shai from Israel and Victor A. Pollak and R. Timothy Pollak from the USA gathered to commemorate their great-grandmother Bertha Pollak and great-aunts: Gisela Pollak and Elisabeth (Pollak) Schneider, along with her husband Jakob Schneider ,
Research by the Association revealed 45 Jewish women and men, and two children had also been collected here in cramped quarters before they ere deported and murdered by the Nazis. A second stone commemorating their lives was also placed and a moment of silence was held in their honour.
Ursula Werner from Germany commemorated her great-aunt and another relative, Wolfgang Drunk. Leopoldine and Marie Fischer were also commemorated by their grandchildren and great-grandchildren with the words: “Dear aunts, we will always honor your lives…”.
A second stone was also laid commemorating 53 Jewish women and men who lived cramped in collective housing before being deported and murdered by the Nazis.