VIENNA (JTA) — Austria’s largest urban transport firm for the first time commemorated the Holocaust, in a subway art installation in memory of hundreds of victims who lived as prisoners on a single street.
The Wiener Linien installation unveiled Thursday at the Herminengasse station features a graph scheme in which each identified victim that had lived on that alley is represented by a black line, stretching through a visual representation of its 21 buildings to Nazi death camps across Europe. In the research that preceded the making of the installation, historians identified hundreds of victims who were not known to have been kept at Herminengasse’s forced shared dwellings for Jews.
During the unveiling ceremony — which occurred 75 years after the peak year of deportations from Herminengasse — 120 people, including politicians, Jewish community leaders and curious passersby, huddled outside the drafty subway tunnel on whose interior walls the installation is mounted.
“Looking at this place is staring at the abyss of the Nazi death machine,” said Tina Walzer, a historian who for the past year researched for the Wiener Linien the names of all the Holocaust victims who lived on Herminengasse, a small street inside Vienna’s 2nd district, which used to be part of that city’s Jewish ghetto.