Liberation Day: WU in the "Presse" podcast


WU Rector Edeltraud Hanappi-Egger and WU archivist Johannes Koll discuss WU’s handling of the Nazi era

On May 8, Austria commemorates its liberation from Nazi rule. In a “Presse” podcast by writer and journalist Eva Reisinger, WU Rector Edeltraud Hanappi-Egger and WU archivist Johannes Koll discuss WU’s 125-year history and the consequences of the Nazi era. The podcast takes a close look at how we can come to terms with the time of the Nazi regime, what it means to remember and commemorate the Nazi era, and what the “Closed to Exclusion – Open to Inclusion” event to be held on Campus WU on June 5, 2023, is all about.

In 1898, Vienna was known as one of the world’s biggest cities. Trade and commerce flourished. 1898 also saw the foundation of the Imperial Export Academy, which, over the years, became one of Austria’s leading research institutions. Right from the start, internationality was an integral part of the institution’s DNA, but everything changed when the Nazis rose to power in the late 1930s: students were expelled from the auditoriums, and the faculty was purged and the ranks filled with Nazi supporters. Academic degrees earned during the Nazi era remained valid after the end of the war.

This year, WU celebrates its 125th anniversary. WU Rector Edeltraud Hanappi-Egger sees this anniversary as an opportunity to take a close look at the dark chapters of the university’s history. In the “Presse” podcast, she talks about WU’s projects for confronting its role during the Nazi years, for example WU’s memorial book for the 1938-1945 victims of National Socialism at the University of World Trade and the memorial sculpture put up on Campus WU. WU archivist Johannes Koll discusses the complex research required to investigate the biographies of Jewish students enrolled at the university during the Nazi years, and he explains why in some cases only family members can provide the necessary clues.

The link to the podcast: 125 Jahre WU: Wie sich die Universität ihrer NS-Vergangenheit stellt |

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