In memoriam architect Ing. Robert Kanfer (1930-2017)

Ing. Robert Kanfer was the architect of the former Austrian national exhibition at Auschwitz.

Born into a Viennese Jewish family in 1930, Robert Kanfer experienced Nazi persecution first hand. At the age of eight he had to leave Vienna on a Kindertransport, spending the war years in England where he was taken in by a family and began to develop an interest in architecture. He didn’t return to Vienna until 1950.

The exhibition, which he developed with the graphic designer Prof. Ernst Fuhrherr, was on display in block 17 at Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp from 1978 to 2013. During the course of the dismantlement of the Austrian exhibition, which is being renewed due to Austria’s revised view of its past, a book for which Ing. Robert Kanfer gave an interview was produced to document the former exhibition.

Ing. Robert Kanfer died in Vienna on 4 June 2017 and was laid to rest a few days after his passing in a ceremony at Vienna Central Cemetery’s restored ceremonial hall, which was also designed by him.