Vienna, Its Jews, The 20th Century

Vienna began the 20th century as the capital of one of Europe’s grandest empire and its cultural output dazzles us still: the music of Gustav Mahler, the philosophy of Ludwig Wittengstein, the exploration of the psyche by Sigmund Freud. All of them were Jewish, as were 175,000 others who lived here then.

But Vienna lost her empire in 1918, and twenty years later, German troops marched in. Not a single Austrian soldier fired a shot. Indeed, hundreds of thousands of Viennese rushed to Heldenplatz to welcome Adolf Hitler himself.

Every Jew in  Vienna desperately tried to get out of the country after 1938 and over 65,000 managed to before the doors slammed shut in 1940. Those who didn’t get away were sent off to their deaths.

In this film, made possible by the Claims Conference, Centropa’s director, Edward Serotta, will take you through Vienna’s troubled history—from its golden age until today.

Vienna, Jews and the 20th Century was produced, shot and edited by Roman Domnich.


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