Wednesday, March 13, 2013

NEW DOCUMENTARY: 75 years after Anschluss, March 12, 1938, Nazi 'Shadows' haunt Austria | The Times of Israel

Members of the Weinrauch family, including future filmmaker Gita, center, remained in Vienna until after WWII was underway. (Courtesy of Gita Kaufman)
As a little girl in 1940, Gita Kaufman escaped Vienna with her family at the last possible moment.

Austria had been under German control for two years, following the bloodless “Anschluss,” or union, of March 12, 1938. The annexation was a boon to Nazi anti-Jewish policy, as the largely affluent Jewish community of Vienna fell into German hands.

Jews had lived in Austria since Roman times, and almost 200,000 called the alpine republic home before the Anschluss. Vienna, the capital and crown jewel of the former Austro-Hungarian empire, was adored by native Jews such as Herzl, Freud and Buber. Fellow Austrian Adolf Hitler notoriously despised the city for its decadence and racial impurity.

Kaufman remembers an early childhood in Vienna filled with classical music and visits from relatives throughout Europe. All that changed 75 years ago Tuesday, when the Nazis turned their sights on Austria’s Jews.

Immediately after the Anschluss, Jews lost employment and were stripped of property, civil rights and dignity. To dampen protest, the Nazis sent 6,000 of Austria’s leading Jewish citizens to Dachau and Buchenwald, where most died..............

75 years after Anschluss, Nazi 'Shadows' haunt Austria | The Times of Israel

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