Sobotka and Lessing Mourn the Death of Johannes Schwantner, Member of the Board of Trustees

His achievements in promoting learning from history at Holocaust memorials were unparalleled

Professor Johannes Schwantner at the presentation of the Rosa Jochmann website at the Austrian Parliament on 22 May 2017
Photo: Parlamentary Directorate / Thomas Topf

It was with great sadness and dismay that National Council President Wolfgang Sobotka and Secretary General of the National Fund Hannah M. Lessing received the news of the sudden death of longtime Board of Trustees Member and dedicated proponent of anti-Fascism, Professor Johannes Schwantner.

“Johannes Schwantner’s achievements during his many years in the service of the National Fund were remarkable. Particularly worthy of note were his achievements in promoting learning from history amongst young people at the sites where the Holocaust took place”, praised the President of the National Council, Wolfgang Sobotka.

According to Secretary General Lessing, “His dedication and his highly vocal support of work promoting anti-Fascism among young people were exemplary. His work with those carrying out remembrance service, who undertook their civilian service as “mini-ambassadors” of Austria, and his activities in the field of remembrance, were just two of Schwantner’s lasting accomplishments.”

Schwantner was the Chairman of the Alliance of Social Democratic Freedom Fighters, Victims of Fascism and Active Antifascists; he had been a Member of the Societal Advisory Board for the renewal of the Austrian exhibition at Auschwitz-Birkenau since 2010 and a Member of the Board of Trustees of the National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism since 2013. Schwantner was an important partner and consultant for the National Fund in these roles.

Recently, at the 2 March 2018 session of the Board of Trustees, Schwantner advocated a project training guides for the new Austrian exhibition at the Auschwitz Memorial.

Johannes Schwantner was born in 1948. From 1993 he was Chairman of the association “Never Forget”, which as a supporting organization of an alternative civilian service abroad sent many young Austrians to concentration camp memorials in Germany and Poland. From 1991 onward he regularly organized journeys of remembrance to concentration camp memorials in Poland for young people.

National Council President Sobotka and Secretary General Lessing would like to offer their heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the late Johannes Schwantner.


National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism
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