The Annual Meeting 2019 of the association 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.
The annual meeting of the association took place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on 29 September 2018, from 6:20pm until 7:00pm
Gerhard BAUMGARTNEFR, director of the Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance, welcomed members and guests and took the chair.
Baumgartner gave the special thanks of the association to Liz AMETSBICHLER, professor of German, University of Montana, Missoula, who had served as Immediate Past President for the period 2016-2018, and to the following three professors who had served as Board members until this year:
Dagmar LORENZ, professor in the Judaic Studies department, University of Illinois at Chicago;
Howard P. LOUTHAN, professor, College of Liberal Arts at the university of Minnesota, director of the Center for Austrian Studies, Minneapolis;
Peter UTGAARD, Dean of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences at Grossmont–Cuyamaca Community College, El Cajon, CA.
The report on activities of the Documentation Center of Austrian Resistance since October 2017 was given by Friedl Garscha, DÖW senior historian.
He focused on the DÖW conference “Vertreibung und Vernichtung” (expulsion and extermination) in September 2017 – cf. https://www.doew.at/termine/veranstaltungsarchiv/vertreibung-und-vernichtung. A revised version of many contributions to this conference is printed in the DÖW yearbook 2018 – cf. https://www.doew.at/erforschen/publikationen/gesamtverzeichnis/jahrbuch/jahrbuch-2018-forschungen-zu-vertreibung-und-holocaust
The yearbook also contains a report on the DÖW’s activities in 2017 – cf. https://www.doew.at/cms/download/s3gn/jahrbuch2018_jahresbericht_2017.pdf
One of the projects that were presented during the conference, was “Vertreibung – Exil – Emigration. Die österreichischen NS-Vertriebenen im Spiegel der Rechtsanwaltskanzlei Dr. Hugo Ebner”. The DÖW published the findings in October 2018 under the title “Österreichische Pensionen für jüdische Vertriebene Die Rechtsanwaltskanzlei Ebner: Akteure – Netzwerke – Akten”. The book was edited by Claudia Kuretsidis-Haider – cf. the synopsis in no. 233 of DÖW’s “Mitteilungen”: https://www.doew.at/cms/download/c1gf/233.pdf
From November 2017 until February 2018 the DÖW showed an exhibit about an Austrian Jewish girl who escaped to Norway and was deported from there to Auschwitz, 75 years ago: “Vienna-Oslo-Auschwitz: The short life of Ruth Maier” – cf. https://www.doew.at/termine/veranstaltungsarchiv/das-kurze-leben-der-ruth-maier-wien-oslo-auschwitz
From 12 March until 30 September the exhibit was shown in Olso, at the Center for Holocaust and Minority Studies – cf. the description in Norwegian: https://www.hlsenteret.no/arrangementer/2018/utstillingsapning%3A-ruth-maier.html)
DÖW director Baumgartner completed Garscha’s report by giving some information about latest developments since the inauguration of the new Austrian government in December 2017.
The report on the association’s development since October 2017 was given by Michael S. Bryant.
Bryant explained the difficulties in the first year of his appointment as secretary/treasurer and invited those who declared themselves members of the association, to pay their annual membership fee ($40) in cash. Each member can get a free copy of the DÖW yearbook on request. For shipping another $10 has to be added to the membership fee. Michael Bryant repeated for those who had not be present at the GSA banquet of the day before that the winner of the Radomir Luza Prize 2018 is David Gerlach for his book about the transformation of the German-Czech borderlands after World War II. Michael expressed the association’s gratitude towards the Austrian Future Fund for its support to enable the awarding of the prize, which originally had been financed solely by the University of New Orleans; New Orleans was the last place of activity of Radomir Luza, author of the first comprehensive study about resistance in Austria. Since last year the prize in the amount of $1,000 is awarded in the course of the GSA banquet. The money given by the Austrian Future Fund is administered by the German Studies Association’s endowment account. Regrettably the Luza prize winner was the only one who did not show up, therefore no solemn awarding ceremony took place.
Baumgartner invited the audience to discuss the reports.
After some questions and answers Baumgartner proceeded to the elections. These concern the new president and vice president for the next two years, and three board members for the next three years. The secretary treasurer continues to serve through 2022: Michael S. BRYANT, professor at Bryant University, Rhode Island, was appointed last year for a five years term.
No elections necessary for the 3 members of the Luza Prize Committee: Günter BISCHOF, Gerald FETZ and Friedl GARSCHA were elected last year for a 3-years-term.
Also 6 out of 9 members of the board will continue to serve for 1 or 2 more years (Robert von DASSANOWSKY, Eva KUTTENBERG, Margarete LAMB-FAFFELBERGER, Lisa SILVERMAN, Felix TWERASER, and Janek WASSERMAN)
Matthew Paul BERG, John Carroll University, Cleveland / University Heights, OH, was elected vice president (to become president in September 2020), vice president Ilana OFFENBERGER was elected president.
As three new board members for the next three years were elected: Jan-Ruth MILLS, Florida State University, Sarah PAINITZ, Butler University, and Frances TANZER, Clark University.
For the present composition of the governance of the association cf. BOARD – American Friends of the Documentation Center of Austrian Resistance
The 2017 Annual Meeting of the Association took place in Atlanta, Georgia, on October 7th, 7:00pm, i.e. immediately before the “Austrian Reception” in the same room.
After the report of Secretary/Treasurer David Wildermuth about the activities and finances of the association and of Winfried Garscha about the activities of the DÖW in the past year, the meeting adopted an amendment of the by-laws regarding the Radomir-Luza-Prize committee (section V of the by-laws), establishing a three-years-term for the members of the committee. Cf. By-Laws
Appointment of a new Secretary/Treasurer
Note: David W. WILDERMUTH, associate professor of German, Shippensburg University, followed the first appointed secretary-treasurer Gregor Thuswaldner. Prof. Wildermuth accepted the renewal of his appointment under the condition that a new secretary-treasurer will be appointed prior to the annual meeting in 2018. He asked to be replaced at this year’s annual meeting.
Michael BRYANT, professor of history and legal studies, Bryant University, Smithfield, RI, agreed to serve for a five year term from 2017 through 2022.
The meeting gave special thanks to David W. WILDERMUTH for having served as secretary-treasurer of the association for seven years, and to the following three professors who have served as board members until today:
Günter BISCHOF, professor of history; director, CenterAustria New Orleans, LA,
Evan Burr BUKEY, professor of history emeritus, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR,
Gerald FETZ, dean and professor of German emeritus, University of Montana, Missoula, MT.
The following three new board members were elected for the period 2017-2020: Eva KUTTENBERG, Penn State at Erie, The Behrend College; Margarete LAMB-FAFFELBERGER, Lafayette College, Easton, PA; and Janek WASSERMAN, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL. For more information look here.
Appointment of the Luza Prize Committee 2017-2020
Günter BISCHOF, professor of history; director, Center Austria: The Austrian Marshall Plan Center for European Studies, University of New Orleans; Gerald FETZ, dean and professor of German emeritus, University of Montana, Missoula, MT; and Winfried R. GARSCHA, Documentation Center of Austrian Resistance, Vienna (ex officio).