Festive Opening of 8 new stations in Leopoldstadt on May 12, 2019
With catastrophic weather forecast, members of the “Stones of Remembrance” association set up a tent in a small park on Oberen Augartenstraße. However, luckily for the 45 people in attendance and the musical group Avanim who opened the ceremony, the weather held, with even glimpses of the sun!
To open the day’s festivities, Avanim performers Daliah Hindler (vocals), Karin Waniek (vocals), Christoph Kögler (accordion, guitar, vocals), and Agnes Riha (violin) played the much -loved song ‘Tumbalalaika’.
Roswitha Hammer then warmly welcomed everyone and introduced Frau Uschi Lichtenegger, a district politician who has long been an enthusiastic supporter the “Stones of Remembrance” association and who has yet to miss a single opening in Vienna’s 2nd District.
In her speech, Frau Lichtenegger spoke about the importance of events during last year’s memorial year which help give Vienna’s Jewish past more visibility. This was particularly so in Leopoldstadt (2nd District) which was then Vienna’s largest Jewish community. Her full speech is available in the below link (in German).
Mrs Roswitha Hammer then introduced the “Stones of Remembrance” association, stating that the more than 1500 stones have been placed thus far, and that these have become an important part of Vienna’s public face today. The association is grateful not only for the financial support received from the city, but also by the continuous representation of district politicians who speak on behalf of the City at every opening ceremony.
To end the opening ceremony, Avanim performed the song, ‘I’m alive forever’.
The group then began its commemorative tour to the sites where new stones were laid.
Here, David Ernst and Amalie Oppenheim were remembered.
The initiator of the stone is the philosopher Mr Peter Singer. Although he could not be present himself, aspiring philosopher, Markus Tschögl, spoke hearting words of memorial on his behalf.
We also remembered Hermine Winkler for whom sponsorship was provided by Mr Robin Gosejohann.
Untere Augartenstraße 1-3
Joseph and Olga Schauder were commemorated with a stone at this address.
Jürgen Lutz from Bremen initiated the stone for the Schauders who were his wife’s grandparents.
Little is known about lives of Olga and Joseph. Jürgen explained that their son, Hans, was able to emigrate to Switzerland and finished his medical studies there but nothing else has been discovered about Hans, except that he was the only survivor of the Schauder family.
Regine Hirsch and Heinrich Sprinzele were remembered.
Their great-granddaughter, Anna Schon, who could not be present, initiated the ceremony. However other members of the family from the United States attended, including Micky and Eric Schon, Janie and Steven Schon, and Sam and Carol Lehman-Wilzig.
Micky read out words prepared on behalf of the family, and Eric said the Kaddish.
Bernhard Weinberg and Lotti Feige Weinberg (born Zimbler) were commemorated.
Cousin Miriam Steinberg who came from the USA to attend the stone laying. She said that the only knowledge she had obtained about the two is what she uncovered in the archives. Nonetheless, despite the fact that she has no personal stories about her murdered ancestors, this does not lessen the strength of her personal feelings for them.
Isak and Hermione Pokart were remembered here.
The stone was initiated by granddaughter Frances Silvermann and great-granddaughter Cindy Silvermann. Glen Silvermann spoke such touching words that even the sky began to cry.
Alice Raab was also remembered, and received a symbolic tombstone with this plaque.
Große Mohrengasse 25
Eugen Frei was commemorated by Sara Walker, his great-granddaughter, who lives in Vienna.
Sara spoke about her endless research trying to learn more about her great-grandfather and his suffering. Unfortunately, she has found almost no information about him apart from the fact that Eugen Frei lived in Paris for a short time before his deported.
Through her research, she did discover a list of the deportation transport his name on it. Eugene had at least two brothers who were also deported to Theresienstadt where they were murdered.
Sigmund and Regine Reiser were remembered at this address.
Frances, Cindy and Alexa: granddaughter, great-granddaughter and great-great-granddaughter were in attendance ‘to carry the memory, from generation to generation to generation: the light and the love further into the world.’
At the rising sun and at its going down, we remember them.
At the blowing of the wind and the chill of winter, we remember them.
At the opening of the buds and the rebirth of spring, we remember them.
At the blueness of the skies and the warmth oft he summer, we remember them.
At the rustling of the leaves and the beauty of the autumn, we remember them.
At the beginning of the year and when it ends, we remember them.
As long as we live, they too will live forth. They are now part of us; we remember them.
When we are weary and in need of strength, we remember them.
When we are lost and sick at heart, we remember them.
When we have decisions that are difficult to make, we remember them.
When we have joy and crave to share, we remember them.
When we have achievements that are based on theirs, we remember them.
For as long as we live, they too will live, for they are now part of us, we remember them.