A critical look at WU’s handling of the Nazi years


2023 marks WU’s 125-year anniversary. On this occasion, the university critically reflects on its handling of the Nazi era.

In this context, WU will be hosting an event entitled “Closed to Exclusion – Open to Inclusion” in the Forum of the Library & Learning Center on Campus WU, on Monday, June 5, 2023.

The event will start by taking a look at Jewish life in Vienna in the context of social acceptance and rejection, from the end of the 19th century until 1938. On this basis, we will be discussing the emergence and spread of anti-Semitism together with international experts. Johannes Koll, senior scientist at WU’s Institute for Economic and Social History, will present research findings on the awarding of honorary doctorates to Nazi supporters and on victims of Nazi persecution among the faculty, staff, and students of the University of World Trade, the institution that would later become today’s WU. Journalist and writer Eva Reisinger will be reading from her essay on the fates of persecuted faculty and students whose names have now been added to the Commemorative Memorial on Campus WU. In this way, we would like to commemorate all members of our university who became victims of National Socialism. The event will be held in English.

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