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WU Memorial Sphere

wu-gedenkprojekt

Walking around the WU campus, you may notice a metal sphere placed on a small grassy knoll outside of building D3. It evokes a somber sort of power, standing both in defiance and in remembrance of a dark and painful history. It is a memorial to victims of the NS-regime, and specifically remembers the students who were unable to complete their studies because of their Jewish background or their opposition to the NS-regime. Extensive research was conducted in the university archives to give names and stories to these people whose studies were so unjustly disrupted, many of whom subsequently lost their lives in the Holocaust.

The project was initiated in 2012, but continues to grow and evolve as more information becomes known. The memorial was designed by Alexander Felch, and is a sphere made up of the names of those who were expelled from the WU. A hole in the side of the memorial allows for additional names to be added as more research is done; however, the hole is never intended to be fully filled. Instead it represents an open and undeniable wound that can never be fully healed.

Along with the memorial, the project includes a virtual memorial book that can be found online. Here, the lives of the victims are provided in as much detail as can be found in the currently available historical record. They are stories of life, love, perseverance, sadness, loss, and death.

You can access the memorial book here: https://gedenkbuch.wu.ac.at/?search=all

If you have any additional information or documentation for any of the people listed in the book, or for people who are not included but should be, you can send it to the university via the feedback form on the webpage – this is an invaluable source of information for the project leaders, which may provide them with previously unknown information and materials to continuously expand the project.

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