Opening of the new Austrian national exhibition at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum on 4 October 2021
Commemorative ceremony and official opening with Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen and National Council President Wolfgang Sobotka
Vienna (PK) - In March 1978, the first Austrian national exhibition was opened in “Block 17” of the former concentration and extermination camp and present-day State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau. At that time, and in contrast to its current revised understanding of its history, Austria still positioned itself as the “first victim of National Socialism”, and Austrian complicity was largely ignored. The new, historically revised national exhibition “Far Removed – Austria and Auschwitz” will be opened on Monday, 4 October 2021 at a ceremony attended by Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen, National Council President Wolfgang Sobotka, Second National Council President Doris Bures, Federal Council President Peter Raggl, Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg, Minister for Europe Karoline Edtstadler, Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein, State Secretary for Art and Culture Andrea Mayer and the Director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum Piotr M. A. Cywiński.
The opening of the new national exhibition will be solemnised by a commemorative ceremony hosted by the National Council President Wolfgang Sobotka and the Director of the State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau Piotr M. A. Cywiński.
The remembrance ceremony at the State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau will be broadcast live from 2.30 pm in a special programme on ORF II and on the parliamentary website. It will be available afterwards on demand in the media library. Photos of the new national exhibition opening will be made available on the parliamentary website on 4 October.
The new exhibition “Far Removed – Austria and Auschwitz”
The title of the new Austrian exhibition at the State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau, “Far Removed”, not only refers to the geographical distance between Austria and Auschwitz, but also and above all to the removal of those deported to Auschwitz – from Austria and from the realm of the living. In addition to the fate of the Austrian victims of Auschwitz and the acts of resistance by Austrian concentration camp inmates, the new exhibition – conceived by the scientific curatorial team of Hannes Sulzenbacher and Albert Lichtblau with architect Martin Kohlbauer – also tells the story of Austrian involvement as perpetrators and accessories to the crimes committed there.
The renewal of the Austrian exhibition at the former concentration and extermination camp and present-day State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau was coordinated by the Secretary General of the National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism Hannah M. Lessing and the Head of the Coordination Office at the National Fund Claire Fritsch and her team.