Conference Proceeding: Restoring Knowledge and Fairness: Vienna University's Jewish Studies Library and Historical Responsibility at the Seventieth Anniversary of the End of World War Two

In 2015, Austrian libraries still struggle with the country’s responsibility for the legacy of National Socialism. Nazi looting is the issue here; historical fairness the aim; extended provenance research the pathway to achieving it. Vienna University's Jewish Studies Library has recently been a twofold site of this struggle: both as an unexpected holder of NS-confiscated Judaica and as the workplace of its librarian, who has just begun a new research project concerned with the provenance of the university's object collections. In both these areas, Monika has needed to address questions of Jewish identity, education, and the persecution of the Jewish intelligentsia. The presentation will include an account of the practical challenges posed by the occurrence of looted/restored books and objects among library holdings (cataloging, availability), as well as examples of stamps and notes that have allowed books and objects to be identified as looted.

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