I have found Judaic content when none exists. I have found Judaic content when I did not expect to find it. Now, I have found a location where you would expect to find some Judaic content, and, it is not there.
On the drive into Villach to our campsite for this night, we drove past a sign pointing to Judendorf. That seemed odd. When I checked into the campsite I asked the proprietor about the name. "Yes, there were Jews there, before." While it was still light Debbie and I walked back to the area.
- From where did these Jews come?
- What were their lives like?
- Was this an Orthodox or a "modern" or an assimilated community (we saw no evidence of a synagogue)?
- What happened to them?
- Who lives in the houses that were theirs?
As you approach the area by car, you can see a shrine (not uncommon in the area).
On the outside of the wall facing into the area of Judendorf (on the right wall in the photo above) is a granite slab.
Zum Gedenken an die Opfer des 2. Weltkrieges von 1939-1945
It then lists:
Aichhorn Elise, Aichhorn Sigrid, Aschgan Marlies, Dietzl Willibald, Doljar Josefine, Doljar Karl, Gasser Alois, Herzog Kasimir, Kabush Elfriede, Kabusch Ida, Kabush Robert, Krainer Maria, Kury Maria, Leitner Paul, Leitner Rosalia, Leitner Rosemarie, Maurer Anna, Maurer Johann jun., Maurer Johann sen., Maurer Manfred, Maurer Maria, Mayer Anneliese, Mayer Erna, Mayer Jolanda, Moritz Hildegard, Morizt Romana, Moritz Viktoria, Pinter Anna, Sitar Johann, Skocier Karl, Waldner Anna, Waldner Gertrude, Walndner Hemma, Winter Gunter, Winter Renate, Zussner Franz, Zussner Hermine.
Fillafer Albert, Fillafer Alfons, Flaschberger Hubert, Fugger Johann, Gartner Johann, Graf Edmund, Graf Ernst, Gregori Franz, Gregori Friedrich, Infeld Josef, Infeld Maximilian, Lkeinsasser Wilhelm, Kofler Alois, Kreuzer Ernst, Kreuzer Franz, Kruthner Leopold, Leitgeb Josef, Mandl Johann, Maurer Ludwig, Mayer Franz, Mayer Johann, Mischkot Johann, Petritsch Simon, Pilgram Heinrich, Regittnig Gottfried, Rendl Josef, Rischnig Georg, Rischnig Rudolf, Rumpold Otto, Rumpold Willibald, Schwarz Johann, Seidenader Leopold, Steinhauser Georg, Susitti Michael, Togl Anton, Toneitz Alois, Wiltsch Johann, Zankl Herbert, Zussner Margarethe
at the bottom:
So, this is a very recent attempt to memorialize.
But who, precisely, does it memorialize?
The second list (all but the last) seems to be of men. These may not even be Jews.
The place has some very odd juxtapositions.
Not more than 50 meters from the memorial plaque there is a contemporary restaurant named "WIRT in Judendorf" (where there are no Jews except for Debbie (an American rabbi) and the statue of a crucified ancient Jew).
Project idea for a masters' student thesis:
Perhaps someone is already doing this... if so, I'd like to learn about the work.
Travel throughout Austria, etc. and search for towns that had some Jewish presence. Check to see what kind of memorial to them (if any) exists and catalog those memorials.
In Vienna we met Karen Engel from Graz (that's another story) who reports that there is academic debate as to whether a Judendorf is where Jews lived or was Judenrein in the first place!
A quick Google search turns up nothing about that.
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