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Speaker: Frances Tanzer (Visiting Assistant Professor, Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies)
After 1945, Austrians deemed images of pre-Nazi Vienna essential for projects to re-imagine Viennese, Austrian, and European identities at home and abroad. Yet, the celebration of a world in which the Jewish minority had been central ensured that representations of Jewish absence would be constitutive of postwar Viennese cultural identities. Focusing on postwar exhibitions of Viennese modernism, Tanzer will explore the paradoxical role that Jews and representations of “Jews” played in the construction of post-Nazi cultural identities in Central Europe. At the heart of Vienna’s postwar cultural reorientation was a contradiction: nostalgia for the pre-Nazi Jewish presence in the city and a population of postwar Austrians who had little desire for the return the Jewish population. Tanzer reveals philosemitism and representations of Jewish absence as crucial to ongoing discussions of national identity and European integration in Vienna, Austria, and beyond.
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