The Annual Meeting 2019 of the American Friends of the Documentation Center of Austrian Resistance took place on October 5th, 2019, from 6:00 to 7:00 pm at the Hilton Portland Downtown (venue of the Forty-Third Annual Conference of the German Studies Association)
Winfried Garscha reported about the DÖW’s activities over the previous last 12 months. These included five publications:
a) the bilingual catalogue entitled “The War against the ‘Inferior’ / On the History of Nazi Medicine in Vienna” ed. by Herwig Czech, Wolfgang Neugebauer, and Peter Schwarz accompanying the exhibition on the Steinhof Memorial at the City of Vienna’s Otto Wagner Hospital (cf. https://www.doew.at/erforschen/publikationen/gesamtverzeichnis/kataloge/der-krieg-gegen-die-minderwertigen-the-war-against-the-inferior);
b) the documentation “Widerstand und Verfolgung in der Steiermark: ArbeiterInnenbewegung und PartisanInnen 1938–1945” ed. by Elisabeth Holzinger, Manfred Mugrauer, and Wolfgang Neugebauer (cf. https://www.doew.at/erforschen/publikationen/gesamtverzeichnis/widerstand-und-verfolgung-widerstandsforschung/widerstand-und-verfolgung-in-der-steiermark);
c) “Flucht und Zuflucht Erinnerungen an eine bewegte Jugend” by Josef Eisinger (cf. https://www.doew.at/erforschen/publikationen/gesamtverzeichnis/exil/flucht-und-zuflucht);
d) “dachaureif”, a biographical documentation by Claudia Kuretsidis-Haider and Rudolf Leo treating the first transport of prisoners from Vienna to the Dachau concentration camp on April 1, 1938, (cf. https://www.doew.at/erforschen/publikationen/gesamtverzeichnis/widerstand-und-verfolgung-widerstandsforschung/dachaureif); the topic of this book is also the subject of a temporary exhibition at the Old City Hall of Vienna (until January 7, 2020);
e) the 2019 yearbook, dedicated to the research into Maly Trostenets near Minsk, killing site for almost 10,000 Austrian Jews (cf. https://www.doew.at/erforschen/publikationen/gesamtverzeichnis/jahrbuch/jahrbuch-2019-deportation-und-vernichtung-maly-trostinec).
Among the numerous lectures, workshops and conferences either held on the DÖW’s premises or organized in cooperation with the DÖW he mentioned the common symposium with the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington in June 2019, “Fleeing the Nazis: Austrian Jewish Refugees to the United States” (cf. http://www.austrianresistance.org/?p=407), and the symposion “Nisko 1939” that addresses the first mass deportation of Jews from Vienna to the East (October 1939) in September 2019 (cf. https://www.doew.at/termine/veranstaltungsarchiv/nisko-1939-erste-massendeportation-aus-wien-deportation-und-vernichtung-maly-trostinec).
Garscha also mentioned the common exhibition with the Norwegien Center for Holocaust and Minorities Studies at the UN Headquarters in New York (cf. http://www.austrianresistance.org/?p=399). This exhibition traveled subsequently to the Austrian Embassy in Washington (cf. https://www.austria.org/the-latest/2019/4/5/ruth-maier-exhibition-opening-reception), where Ann M. Altman (a member of Ruth Maier’s family) delivered a moving speech at the opening ceremony.
Other topics of the annual meeting included: the state of the association with respect to members, finances and the development of this website.
Because this year there were no eligible applications for the Radomir-Luza-Prize, Board members decided to change the requirements: it will be awarded for an outstanding work released during the previous year not only in the field of Austrian and/or Czechoslovak World War II studies, but in future will also include the much broader scope of Austrian and/or Czechoslovak history between 1918-1989. The other stipulations still apply: To be eligible for consideration in the Radomir Luza Prize competition, the book must have been published, or the dissertation defended, between January 1st and December 31st of the year prior to the announcement. Authors must be citizens or resident aliens (holders of “green cards”) of the United States or Canada. Dissertations must have been awarded by a North American University. The language of the work must be English.
No elections were necessary for President, Vice President and Immediate Past President, the Luza Prize Committee or for the Secretary/Treasurer.
However, three departing members were replaced by three new members for the period 2019 through 2022. Those present expressed their sincere thanks to those who had served as board members for the years 2016-2019: Robert von DASSANOWSKY, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, Lisa D. SILVERMAN, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, and Felix TWERASER, University of West Georgia. They were replaced by:
Marc LANDRY, University of New Orleans,
Helga SCHRECKENBERGER, University of Vermont, and
Jacqueline VANSANT, University of Michigan-Dearborn.
Complete information about the board is available here.
Among “any other business” the topic “recent developments with regard to the Gusen concentration camp memorial” (near Mauthausen) was raised. Winfried Garscha informed those present about the information letter from the Mauthausen Memorial to the members of the International Advisory Board concerning the speculative character of a German documentary, broadcast by ZDF, and about the efforts of the Memorial to clarify the questions raised in this documentary.
Those present gave thanks to the director of the Austrian Cultural Forum New York for continuous logistical support of the Association’s activities and invited the members to pay their annual dues.