About This Project

Eighty years have passed since the Kristallnacht pogroms of November 1938. This website places the historical events of 1938 in Austria, including the March 1938 Anschluss, the Kristallnacht pogroms, and the beginning of anti-Semitic persecution, into the context of Jewish witnesses testimonies and by doing so makes history tangible.

Keeping Memory Alive

With financial support from the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research, the National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism and the Future Fund of the Republic of Austria, Centropa has organized the project “1938” to commemorate the occasion of the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht.

In 2018, Centropa employees visited students at schools across Vienna in order to discuss the events of 1938 in Austria and, in particular, Vienna. Students were asked to consider the historical events in relation to the experiences of Viennese Jews who Centropa had interviewed between 2002 and 2011in Austria and Israel.

The website aims to make this concept available beyond the borders of Vienna and to provide interested teachers and students access to educational material produced by teachers from Israel and Austria.

The background picture above shows how members of the Hitler Youth forced Viennese Jews to scrub election slogans for the Fatherland Front from streets and facades in the city on the day after the Anschluss on March 13, 1938 (Photo: Yad Vashem Archives | Item ID: 28520).

About Centropa

Centropa is a Jewish historical institute with headquarters in Vienna and additional offices in Washington, D.C, Budapest, and Hamburg. Centropa’s international team of historians, filmmakers, journalists and educators are dedicated to documenting Jewish life in the 20th century.

Since the beginning of our project “Jewish Witness to a European Century” in 2000, we have digitized more than 1,250 life stories and just under 25,000 family photographs. Centropa’s interviews have been conducted in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Moldova, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia and Turkey.

Instead of focusing our interviews exclusively on the Holocaust, we aim to document the full range of Jewish life in the 20th century. In our interviews, we refrain from using video. Instead, we digitize the family photos of our interviewees, and we ask our interviewees to tell us about the people in these photos.

The Centropa team in 2017

The interviews and photos can be found on our Hungarian, English and German-language website. Centropa also distributes this material through touring exhibitions for museums and libraries, books and brochures, and, since 2007, as an educational project for schools in Europe, the US, and Israel as part of the Centropa Student program. At the heart of the educational program is the “Library of Rescued Memories,” a growing collection of short films based on the photographs and stories of our interviewees.

More information can be found on the Centropa website.

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