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“Book of Remembrance of Upper Austria”

Project idea

“Book of Remembrance of Upper Austria” is a continuously expanding collection of biographies of people who were persecuted for various reasons under National Socialism or who endangered their own lives by resisting the Nazi regime. In an annual project cycle, participants from the defined target groups (see below) are instructed in historical research and the examination of a selected biography. The aim is to create a four-page portrait consisting of text, pictures and/or documents that will be included in the Book of Remembrance as a lasting testimony. These "new pages" of the Book of Remembrance will be opened at the annual festive presentation in autumn. The result should be a growing collection of biographies of persons persecuted by the Nazi regime in the regional context of Upper Austria, which are stored and accessible in the print medium at central locations. The “Book of Remembrance of Upper Austria” can be opened in the Mariendom in Linz from November 27, 2019 and in the buried room of the Linz Castle Museum from 2020. The aim is to situate the “Book of Remembrance of Upper Austria” in various contexts of remembrance and to integrate the biographies it contains into the commemorative culture of the province of Upper Austria.

The project combines civil society remembrance culture with historical-biographical learning: no special previous knowledge is required for participation. Under historical and pedagogical guidance, the participants collect first of all independently information about the life path, fate, family, world view etc. of the selected person. Afterwards the discussion is intensified by designing and writing biographies for the Book of Remembrance. This not only preserves the stories of formerly persecuted or resistant persons in collective memory and opens up new sources, but also places them in relation to their own biography and the present. 

The project is based on the Dachau Book of Remembrance project.

Responsible body: Project group “Book of Remembrance of Upper Austria”

The project " Book of Remembrance of Upper Austria " is supported by an independent project group, which was formed in 2019 from a cooperation of institutions and individuals. The group of sponsors currently includes:

Cooperation partners

In addition, the project group has already established or prepared numerous cooperations in order to prepare the implementation of the project in the best possible way. These include: Erinnern.at, archives (Upper Austrian Provincial Archive, Diocesan Archive Linz, etc.), memorial sites and initiatives.  

Organizational structure

The project group coordinates the itinerary of the ongoing project. At the beginning of each project year there is a call and a deadline for applications for volunteer project participants (individuals or groups). After a selection (10 groups or individuals) of the submitted projects by the project team, the participants will be mentored by FFJI and PPH staff.

The project supervision begins with a kick-off day for all project participants in Linz, with a comprehensive introduction to the project work. The introduction includes modules on scientific research, literature searches, securing sources, interviewing, culture of remembrance, visiting archives and biographical writing. 

In a further meeting (half-time meeting) of all project participants, experiences and work progress are exchanged and historical and pedagogical impulses are given by the project group. The project supervision aims at intensifying the evaluation of the sources, the creation of the biography, as well as the reflection of the relationship between the "I" and the "biography". All in all, the project support has to keep in mind historical, political, psychological, ethical, religious or even data protection issues in order to offer educationally oriented mentoring. 

The four-page biography will be completed and submitted by September 30, each year. In November, the new pages of the book of remembrance will be "opened" in a public ceremony. The event is organized and presented by the project organizers together with the participants. 

The media work and overall organization of the annual presentation is the responsibility of the project team.

Target groups

  • Family members (2nd, 3rd, 4th  generations) of victims or persecuted persons
  • Local committees and initiatives in Upper Austria with an interest in NS local history
  • Extracurricular youth organizations (Catholic Youth Upper Austria, Austrian National Youth Council, youth centers)
  • Students of the universities and colleges of education in Linz, school groups with a focus on NS history and remembrance

Project presentation 2019

The project will be presented to the public with the first nine biographies on November 27, at 4 pm in the Mariendom in Linz. Invitation Folder

Contact

Email: ffji[at]ku-linz.at