Just few steps away from the new Sigmund Freud University building in Vienna you will find a memorial for students and employees, who were expelled from the former University of International Trade (HWL) during the Nazi era. This memorial was designed by the artist Alexander Karl Felch and our international PhD candidate Ekaterina Makarova.
According to the creators, the globe signifies the world around which the Jewish exiles were forced to scatter. The memorial shall symbolize the re-inclusion of the victims into the university circle. The opening on the side of the globe stands for the wound the Nazi era caused for the university and society. While it will be possible to add further names to the globe, the memorial itself will remain unfinished, thereby showing that the process of accounting for the past can never be complete.
Ekaterina Makarova: by our concept we wanted to connect aesthetics and deep meaning, art and psychotherapy. We were very happy about the possibility to create a material embodiment of this huge research project made by the University of Economics and Business about its own past. (The biographies of the victims can be found in a virtual memorial book, which can be accessed online at http://gedenkbuch.wu.ac.at ). «Our globe» is not a typical «very serious and dark memorial for victims of the Nazi era», it is a part of the dynamic and international life at the new university campus. There is already a new tradition initiated by international graduates of the Viennese universities: you have to throw a key or a clinch from your manual into the globe, this will bring you luck on your professional and personal journey. Our PhD graduates should try it too, for me it worked already 😉
From the «English Doctoral Programme Newsletter» from April, 2015 Volume III, Issue 1