An Online Exhibition
In 1892, the suburbs of Währing, Weinhaus, Gersthof, Plötzleinsdorf, as well as parts of Neustift am Walde and Salmannsdorf were incorporated into Vienna and merged to become the new district of Währing. Währing never had a large Jewish community. In the national census of 1934 only 5,061 Jews were counted there, while in the district Leopoldstadt there lived no less than 50,992 Jews. Nevertheless, the Jewish population of Währing was quite diverse. In the more affluent parts of Währing there lived entrepreneurs, businessmen but also successful artists and members of the free professions. At the same time Jews also belonged to the middle class and lower middle class. With the “annexation” of Austria in March 1938 the Nazis introduced a policy of robbing and excluding Jews from the economic, cultural and social life in order to pressure them to leave Austria. Despite considerable hardships imposed on them by the Nazis as well as prospective countries of rescue the majority of the Jews from Währing succeeded to flee from Vienna and Austria. Those who stayed behind were deported and murdered. The vibrant Jewish community was destroyed and never to be revived again.
Several important Jewish institutions were located in Währing before the Shoah. The old Jewish cemetery of Währing, the second oldest in town, was badly damaged, the synagogue in Schopenhauerstrasse destroyed during Kristallnacht. The well-known Rothschild hospital (Rothschildspital) stopped functioning when it was taken over by the SS in 1942. This project reflects Jewish life before and while the Shoah and is also a virtual memorial to those institutions and to the expelled and murdered Jews from Währing.