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Music to Vanquish Nations

Music to Vanquish Nations

The camera is focused on a tall, ornate opera house, and we hear the orchestra surge under a deep, soaring bass. It pans down to show two small people walking out. The young woman – Diane Keaton – is protesting; they had a deal, she says in the famous scene in Woody Allen’s Manhattan Murder […]

Book Review: Voices in Exile

Book Review: Voices in Exile

“By banning Jewish composers, Hitler’s Reich amputated an essential limb from the body of German cultural continuity,” writes Michael Haas in his groundbreaking book on Jewish musicians persecuted by the Third Reich, entitled Forbidden Music: The Jewish Composers Banned by the Nazis, published by Yale University Press in April. The former producer of Decca’s ‘Entartete […]

Today’s Jewish Life In Vienna

Today’s Jewish Life In Vienna

On a side street off Karmeliterplatz in the 2nd District, Kosherland is a hub of Jewish life. Here, the community feel is tangible. Parents send their school-age children to Dr. Marina Plistiev’s store unaccompanied and instead of paying for their groceries on the spot, the shopkeeper sets up a tab and waits for their parents […]

Subterranean Cityscapes

Subterranean Cityscapes

Vienna’s summer streets are a hive of activity, as visitors make pilgrimage from park to palace, and market to museum. Understandably, many locals flee to the countryside for the cool and the quiet. But there is another way! And that is to head underground. Beneath the 1st District is a warren of secret places that […]

The World’s Oldest Jewish Museum Looks to the Future

The World’s Oldest Jewish Museum Looks to the Future

Light and luminous. That is the impression conveyed by Vienna’s “new” Jewish Museum, which re-opened in October after a nine month face-lift that cost a total of €2.6 million. The darkness of the Holocaust recedes from view, while gleaming Torah crowns in illumined showcases recall the wealth and vibrancy of Jewish life in the Habsburg […]

The City of Music’s Forgotten 20th Century

When Dr Karl Albrecht-Weinberger invited me to come to the Jewish Museum Vienna (JMW) in 2002 to curate a series of biographical exhibitions on the Jewish provenance of the city’s musical heritage, the institution was riding a wave of international praise. That exhibition, “Quasi una fantasia”, went on to New York, to great acclaim, and […]

Book Review: A Family’s Century of Art and Loss by Edmund de Waal

Restitution of Memory “My way into the world is through touch,” Edmund de Waal, author of the award-winning family memoir The Hare with Amber Eyes (2010), told a rapt audience at Vienna’s Jewish Museum on 20 Oct.. “That’s my way of understanding who I am.” An acclaimed British ceramicist, de Waal was inspired to investigate […]

Literary Events: Mar., 2011

Exhibition as Drama: How the Museum Developed Out of Theater Book presentation and podium discussion. Exhibitions are one of the most successful forms of media in the world today. But what exactly is an exhibition? Werner Hanak-Lettner, Curator at the Jewish Museum Vienna, analyzes the importance of exhibition as a form of media and its interconnections with […]

Torberg in Exile

Torberg in Exile

Friedrich Torberg loved to write letters. When he died in Vienna in 1979, he left behind some 50,000 pages of correspondence to a wide circle of friends and acquaintances that has been produced several published volumes in his life time and after, and revealed a man who pleasured in companionship on paper. “My correspondence has […]

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