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The question that has been upsetting for a few weeks now has been: Is it okay to name a street after an anti-Semite?

The question that has been upsetting for a few weeks now has been: Is it okay to name a street after an anti-Semite?

Let’s leave that. The question that has been angry again for several weeks is: Is it okay to name a street after an anti-Semite? Do President Hanna Feingold and the other members of the Jewish community have to endure to be constantly confronted with these folk remnants of an ideology that is murderous for their people?

A commission of historians has ascertained that 46 traffic areas in Salzburg are named after NSDAP members. There are always discussions about this, but not solutions. One of these streets will soon be renamed Marko-Feingold-Straße, after Hanna Feingold’s husband, Holocaust survivor and long-time President of the Israelite Religious Community, who died last autumn. But is that enough? Hanna Feingold says: No. All streets named after anti-Semites should be given new names. Their reasoning is as simple as it is catchy: “Anti-Semitism cannot go away because it is present again and again through these people.”

sculptor

Valkenauer Strasse in Salzburg’s eyes. Quiet residential area. A horde of adolescents chases past loudly on roller skates. It is unlikely that you know who this Valkenauer was, whose name you see several times a day. So: sculptor, creator of a sculpture called “Judensau”, which could be seen for a long time on the facade of the old town hall of Salzburg. The area around Valkenauer Strasse is now an attractive and expensive residential area. In the past there were only meadows and alluvial forests here, the Salzach is not far. That is why the Jewish cemetery was established here, once outside the city. If Hanna Feingold wants to visit her deceased husband, she has to go through the street of the “Judensau” sculptor. Can that be right?

Salzburg-Aigen again: Josef-Thorak-Straße, perhaps the most controversial traffic area in Salzburg. Again and again the street signs were smeared, which is why they were hung higher (attention, most questionable symbolic value). Thorak was an outspoken Nazi, party member, Hitler’s favorite sculptor. According to research by the historian Susanne Rolinek, he acted as artistic advisor to SS’s own porcelain factory on the grounds of the Dachau concentration camp and inspected prisoners at work. The street was named in 1963 in a dull atmosphere of conscious repression. Renaming has been required for 30 years now. Why hasn’t that happened yet? “Sometimes I think you don’t want to give up this narrow-mindedness,” says Hanna Feingold.

Red lines

Valkenauer? Thorak? It is imperative to rename, advises Peter Autengruber, member of the historians’ commission that identified 28 Viennese street names “with intensive discussion need” a few years ago

The difficult business of historians is in drawing the “red line”.grade my essay Are the performance and offenses of the person concerned in a relationship that justifies keeping the street name?

An example from Vienna. “The writer Josef Weinheber, after whom a square in Ottakring is named, may have been a problem personally, but he certainly did not put his writing activity at the service of a regime.” As has been the case since 2015, it is sufficient to add an additional sign to the street sign. The Maria Grengg case should be judged differently. The völkisch writer, little known today, was closely associated with the Nazi regime and even faked her year of birth from 1888 to 1889 to be the same year as Hitler.

New book From Abbegasse to Zypressenweg: Peter Autengrubers

Lexicon of Viennese street names

is now in the eleventh edition (Verlag Wundergarten, 21.90 euros) *

The links marked with an asterisk (*) are so-called affiliate links. If you click on an affiliate link and shop via this link, we receive a commission from the online shop or provider concerned. The price does not change for you.

Lobby organizations

Until the middle of the 19th century, there were hardly any street names related to people. That changed with the rise of liberalism and the incorporation of the suburbs. Around 60 percent of Vienna’s traffic areas are currently named after historical personalities. There have been changes in street names time and again, mostly in the wake of political upheavals. Today people are hesitant about that. Why actually?

“It is certainly right to think about the extent to which certain values ​​can still be represented today. However, one should proceed with a certain degree of caution, because history cannot be erased by simply removing a street sign.”

The most recent, hotly debated example: The Große and Kleine Mohrengasse in Vienna’s Leopoldstadt. A complex topic that he doesn’t want to commit to, says Autengruber. “You would also have to ask the neighbors or initiate a vote in the district. On the other hand, there are lobby organizations that make themselves very strong. To what extent they always have a real historical awareness, I ask. But you can rename it certainly think about it. ” Also in the focus of the historians’ commission, which should deal with racist and colonialist street names by autumn: Columbusplatz in Favoriten. “Here I would advocate an artistic intervention. You could work with texts by the Dominican monk Bartolomé de las Casas, who was an early critic of slavery.”

Another strategy for dealing with historically loaded street names is recoding. Since 2006, Schlesinger-Platz in the eighth district has no longer been named after the anti-Semitic Reichsrat Josef Schlesinger, but after the women’s rights activist Therese Schlesinger. The address stayed the same. And even a change would not be an insurmountable obstacle, says historian Autengruber: “In part, I consider that to be an advanced argument. The costs of a change of address would be limited in the age of the Internet.”

So why is so little progress even in clear cases? What is debatable about the résumé of a Josef Thorak? Does a street really have to be named after Maria Grengg? Why do politicians repeatedly pass these decisions on to historians’ commissions and thus politically on the back burner?

The discussions about a Marko- Feingold-Straße in Salzburg have ebbed, one is waiting for a surprise! – on the findings of the Commission of Historians. A renaming of the Stelzhamerstrasse appears unlikely. The Viennese historian Peter Autengruber would recommend a notice board, but that is not enough for Hanna Feingold: “These additional tables are an eyecatcher. Why was all the Adolf Hitler boards removed in 1945? You could also have put a table there,” War ein bad man, “and off. That is far too little.” A place without an address is also out of the question for them. “The anti-Semites, the Nazi perpetrators, all have their addresses, which are printed on letterheads, which are spoken, which are written, that is what counts. If people really want an anti-Semite, they should give them such places where there is no address. “

Reinhardt Square

Feingold has its own ideas. She wants the Churfürststraße in downtown Salzburg to be named after her husband. And Hofstallgasse, the official address of the Salzburg Festival, should be named after Max Reinhardt, she says, the festival’s Jewish founder, who had to flee to the USA in 1937. This Max-Reinhardt-Platz, mischievous smile now, could stretch to a horse pond, suggests Feingold. Those in the know: This is where the former Sigmunds-Platz is located, named after the conductor and NSDAP member Herbert von Karajan in 1991 – with a unanimous municipal council resolution. In which. Karajan doesn’t have to go completely. “But a little spot would be enough for him.”

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Streets in Austrian cities are still named after Nazis and anti-Semites. This must come to an end, demands Hanna Feingold, President of the Jewish community in Salzburg.

Every time Hanna Feingold goes to the synagogue, she has to get angry. Although, the word is not enough: As a Jew, she feels threatened. Because of this street, which runs right around the corner from the synagogue and is really nothing special, 170 meters short, lined with residential buildings, and now and then the trolleybus rushes through. No, Feingold does not annoy the street itself, that would be difficult to understand given its inconspicuousness, it annoys the name. “Stelzhamer-Straße” is written in old-fashioned letters on a large, oval street sign.

And?

© Ricardo Herrgott / News Hanna Feingold, President of the Israelitische Kultusgemeinde Salzburg, calls for the renaming of numerous streets in Salzburg

Franz Stelzhamer, dialect poet and as such author of the Upper Austrian national anthem, wrote in his “Colorful Book” in 1852: “After their political demise, no people on earth has endured with such tenacity, indeed complete irrecoverability, as the Jew scattered all over the world, he gobbled a giant tapeworm, now thinner, now wider, around the nutritional organs of every cultured state body “

Let’s leave that. The question that has been angry again for several weeks is: Is it okay to name a street after an anti-Semite? Do President Hanna Feingold and the other members of the Jewish community have to endure to be constantly confronted with these folk remnants of an ideology that is murderous for their people?

A commission of historians has ascertained that 46 traffic areas in Salzburg are named after NSDAP members. There are always discussions about this, but not solutions. One of these streets will soon be renamed Marko-Feingold-Straße, after Hanna Feingold’s husband, Holocaust survivor and long-time President of the Israelite Religious Community, who died last autumn. But is that enough? Hanna Feingold says: No. All streets named after anti-Semites should be given new names. Their reasoning is as simple as it is catchy: “Anti-Semitism cannot go away because it is present again and again through these people.”

sculptor

Valkenauer Strasse in Salzburg’s eyes. Quiet residential area. A horde of adolescents chases past loudly on roller skates. It is unlikely that you know who this Valkenauer was, whose name you see several times a day. So: sculptor, creator of a sculpture called “Judensau”, which could be seen for a long time on the facade of the old town hall of Salzburg. The area around Valkenauer Strasse is now an attractive and expensive residential area. In the past there were only meadows and alluvial forests here, the Salzach is not far. That is why the Jewish cemetery was established here, once outside the city. If Hanna Feingold wants to visit her deceased husband, she has to go through the street of the “Judensau” sculptor. Can that be right?

Salzburg-Aigen again: Josef-Thorak-Straße, perhaps the most controversial traffic area in Salzburg. Again and again the street signs were smeared, which is why they were hung higher (attention, most questionable symbolic value). Thorak was an outspoken Nazi, party member, Hitler’s favorite sculptor. According to research by the historian Susanne Rolinek, he acted as artistic advisor to SS’s own porcelain factory on the grounds of the Dachau concentration camp and inspected prisoners at work. The street was named in 1963 in a dull atmosphere of conscious repression. Renaming has been required for 30 years now. Why hasn’t that happened yet? “Sometimes I think you don’t want to give up this narrow-mindedness,” says Hanna Feingold.

Red lines

Valkenauer? Thorak? It is imperative to rename, advises Peter Autengruber, member of the historians’ commission that identified 28 Viennese street names “with intensive discussion need” a few years ago

The difficult business of historians is in drawing the “red line”. Are the performance and offenses of the person concerned in a relationship that justifies keeping the street name?

An example from Vienna. “The writer Josef Weinheber, after whom a square in Ottakring is named, may have been a problem personally, but he certainly did not put his writing activity at the service of a regime.” As has been the case since 2015, it is sufficient to add an additional sign to the street sign. The Maria Grengg case should be judged differently. The völkisch writer, little known today, was closely associated with the Nazi regime and even faked her year of birth from 1888 to 1889 to be the same year as Hitler.

New book From Abbegasse to Zypressenweg: Peter Autengrubers

Lexicon of Viennese street names

is now in the eleventh edition (Verlag Wundergarten, 21.90 euros) *

The links marked with an asterisk (*) are so-called affiliate links. If you click on an affiliate link and shop via this link, we receive a commission from the online shop or provider concerned. The price does not change for you.

Lobby organizations

Until the middle of the 19th century, there were hardly any street names related to people. That changed with the rise of liberalism and the incorporation of the suburbs. Around 60 percent of Vienna’s traffic areas are currently named after historical personalities. There have been changes in street names time and again, mostly in the wake of political upheavals. Today people are hesitant about that. Why actually?

“It is certainly right to think about the extent to which certain values ​​can still be represented today. However, one should proceed with a certain degree of caution, because history cannot be erased by simply removing a street sign.”

The most recent, hotly debated example: The Große and Kleine Mohrengasse in Vienna’s Leopoldstadt. A complex topic that he doesn’t want to commit to, says Autengruber. “You would also have to ask the neighbors or initiate a vote in the district. On the other hand, there are lobby organizations that make themselves very strong. To what extent they always have a real historical awareness, I would like to ask.

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