May 4, 2022
Students from the Nationalism Studies Program and the Jewish Studies Specialization were invited to a walk in the 2nd district of Vienna, Leopoldstadt, which has been the center of Jewish life in the Austrian capital since the seventeenth century. The itinerary started at the memorial site where Vienna's main synagogue, the "Leopoldstädter Tempel," stood between 1858 and 1938, and included the sites of the Orthodox and the Sephardi synagogues, of the Nazi deportation collection point and of the Gestapo building. Jewish life in the district, once nick-named "Matzo Island," has revived after the Holocaust, most visibly in several Jewish institutions and the recently restored Jewish theater "Nestroyhof".
March 4, 2022
A train ride from Vienna, students of the Jewish Studies Specialization explored Eisenstadt, a city in the Burgenland region of Austria. The tour was organized by Professor Michael Miller in the framework of his seminar class "Jews in the Habsburg Empire" and guided by Gerhard Baumgartner, director of the Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance (DÖW). Close to the castle of the Esterházy family, who were the lords of this formerly Hungarian city between 1622 and 1848, the Jewish Quarter was an autonomously administrated village. The quarter still conserves the small palace in which the imperial factor Samson Wertheimer had his residence and private synagogue, as well as two important cemeteries dating back to 1679. In postwar Austria, the authorities demolished the main synagogue in 1951, but established in the Wertheimer Palace in 1972 the Austrian Jewish Museum, which has become a pioneering institution in the country's historical memory.
November 14, 2021
Medieval Synagogue in Korneuburg
October 26, 2021
Vienna Walking Tour
In the Footsteps of Herzl
In the framework of his class "Zionism and Other Jewish Nationalisms," Professor Michael Miller guided CEU students in Jewish Studies and Nationalism Studies to major stations in the life of the Viennese journalist and Zionist leader Theodor Herzl (1860-1904). We met in front of St. Stephen's Cathedral (Stephansdom), where young Herzl, prior to his "conversion" to Zionism, dreamt to counter the threat of antisemitism by a solemn mass conversion of Jews to the Catholic Church. We proceeded to the building where Herzl had his workplace at the liberal daily journal Neue Freie Presse, then to the concert hall of the Musikverein where two Zionist Congresses and Herzl's funeral ceremony took place. We stopped in front of the Burgtheater, where several of his plays were performed, and in Türkenstrasse, where the Executive Committee of the World Zionist Organization had its offices and edited its journal Die Welt. Herzl lived nearby in Bergstrasse, not far from where Dr. Freud's couch originally stood. Our excursion ended on Döblinger Cemetery, where Herzl rested in (relative) peace between 1904 and 1949. In that year, the newly founded State of Israel, in accordance with Herzl's last will, reburied his body in Jerusalem.
October 17, 2021
The first Jewish Studies excursion after CEU's move to Vienna and the confinement during the Covid pandemic was to Judenplatz (Jews' Square) in the Viennese Inner City, center of medieval Jewish community and site of the Holocaust memorial by Rachel Whiteread. Students from Professor Wilke's class "Jewish Cultural Heritage" saw the exhibition on the medieval Jewish community and the excavated remains of its synagogue destroyed in 1421.