Meeting of Descendants 2016

At the invitation of Injoest, 90 descendants of expelled Jewish families from the area of the „Kultusgemeinde” (Jewish community) St. Poelten spent four intensive days (26th-29th of June), searching for traces of their families. Family members out of three generations from Austria, Switzerland, Great Britain, Israel, the USA, Argentina and Mexico visited the graves of their ancestors in St. Poelten and Neulengbach. Afterwards the government of lower Austria and the city of St. Poelten welcomed them. Students from St. Poelten did some research about the destinies of the expelled families and accompanied them to some of their former homes. The Mincha-pray at the Synagogue, led by Cantor Paul Heller from London was for many the emotional highlight.

 

The majority of the participants received new information and knowledge about their families. Some of them were also able to find so far unknown cousins. Many brought documents and pictures we can use for further research. Just after the descendant’s home journey, the development of a „virtual Jewish community of St. Poelten” began. An organisation committee has been founded to plan a meeting in five years’ time. Until then, a blog will provide a platform to exchange information.

„We were so overwhelmed by different feelings!!! Excited, happy, nostalgic… a mixture of all together.“ (Netta)
„It was not easy to come to St. Poelten, and I am glad I did. Finally I found roots.“ (Ariela) „Imagining my great grandfather leading the prayers on the high holidays – especially during the service we held – was very moving.“ (Brenda)
„Yes, this was an unexpected and amazing bonus by itself to reveal all our relatives in Austria.“  (Liron)
„We will possibly make peace with Austria and the horrible stories our mother experienced here.” (Nina)

Many thanks to our sponsors:  Landeshauptmann Dr. Erwin Pröll and the government of Lower Austria, Mayor Mag. Matthias Stadler and the city of St. Pölten, Jewish Welcome Service, City of Vienna, National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism, Future Fund of the Republic of Austria.

 

Media reports
|ORF NÖ|  |APA|  |Bezirksblatt|  |NÖN| |NJJN| |St. Pölten konkret|

|Cantor Paul Heller's Blog

IOn 28th June 2016 the public broadcast channel ORF reported about the meeting of the Descendants in Niederösterreich Heute. A number of interviews were presented. You can watch the video here: |ORF-Bericht|