Stations of Remembrance in Alsergrund
The Alsergrund was traditionally a district with many Jewish inhabitants. Before the Nazis takeover Jewish people made up 30 percent of the inhabitants, in Rossau 50 percent. In 1938 these people were instantly deprived of their dignity, their belongings and their rights. People from Alsergrund were forced to leave their apartments and to move to assembly flats in the district or in the Leopoldstadt. Others were also removed from Alsergrund, e.g. in the Jewish old people’s home in Seegasse. Those who couldn’t escape were deported and murdered. This happened to 6910 people in Alsergrund.
The starting point of our project ‚Stations of Remembrance in Alsergrund’ happened in 2005 when my uncle (Elisabeth Ben David-Hindler) Ephraim Levanon, born in Vienna as Fritz Weisz, wanted to place a plaque on the former house of his parents in Porzellangasse 49a to commemorate them. He even would have paid rent for it. But as it is so often the case in Vienna, the owner of the house wasn’t willing to fulfil his desire. It was my uncle , who called my attention to the ‘Stolpersteine’ (stumbling stones) project started by Gunter Demnig in Germany. With the help of Martina Malyar, head of the district, we were able to set the plaque in the same year. The day of the inauguration was one of the most beautiful days in my uncle’s life.
We then expanded this project to others in the 9th district. Numerous wishes of family members reached us, all wanting to set stones in front of the dwellings of their relatives who lived in Alsergrund. The ‘Stones of Remembrance in Alsergunrd’ fulfilled these wishes. On two places we also set stones that remember the special meaning of the site. These places are the old people’s home in Seegasse and the Jewish orphanage in Grünentorgasse 26.
We also included in the route memorials for other places such as the synagogue in Müllnergasse and the Jewish cemetery in Seegasse 9,.
In collaboration with the project group Servitengasse 1938, both of their commemoration projects are also part of the route. www.servitengasse1938.at