While the most famous and most horrific hate crime against the Jews occurred during the Second World War, the anti-Semitic feelings were very prevalent long before the 1930s. The Jews managed to gain a slight amount of leverage thanks to their financial knowledge and successes. Even then though, they were easily expelled by the emperor at his whim.
The first Jews are believed to have settled in Vienna in the early 1200s. They became a very prominent community. In 1421, Jews were tortured and forcibly baptized. 200 Jews perished on the Erdberger Lände. These nine tiles are of the first synagogue in Vienna.
180 years later, the Emperor allowed the Jews back into Vienna. In 1624, they were expelled to a ghetto in today’s second district, which often got flooded. The Emperor hated the Jews and only tolerated them because they were helping fund the 30 Years’ War. In 1670, the Jews were again expelled so as to decrease competition for the Viennese. This is a cornerstone of the wall that surrounded the ghetto.
Samuel Oppenheimer, another successful Jewish businessman, helped the Emperor finance the war against the Ottoman Turks. While they were allowed to live in Vienna, their position was very shaky. When Oppenheimer died, the court refused to pay the family back and declared them bankrupt. Some of the members of the family were also expelled from the city.
In the 1860s, orthodox Jews arrived in Vienna. The “established” Jews viewed them as a threat to their life in Vienna because the Emperor only “tolerated” a small number of Jews. The rabbis came together to reach a compromise and maintain the unity in the community. One of those rabbis is pictured here: rabbi Adolf Jellinek.
In 1934, Karl Leuger founded the Christian Socialist Party, which focused a lot on anti-Semitism. In order to be more mindful, the street sign was removed and the road renamed. However, other streets, parks, monuments and more remain dedicated to Dr. Karl Leuger.
Beginning in the early 20th century, women used art forms to actively promote each other. Painted by Bronica Koller-Pinell, the large painting is of her 16 year old daughter. Pepa Feldscharek and Madame d’Ora photographed fellow strong women to display to the world.
Thoughts of today’s Jewish community