Dear Salutation Lastname,
It has been an eventful first half to 2017. Following the restructuring of the Mauthausen Memorial and departure from the Federal Ministry of the Interior, we have set new trajectories for the future of our institution and launched some exciting new projects. I'd like to take this opportunity to tell you about some of our activities over the past few months and let you know about our forthcoming events.
In April, the 'Bistro Mauthausen Memorial' was officially reopened following extensive renovations by the state governor, Josef Pühringer. With its dedicated and helpful staff, this integrative catering project run by the charity Diakoniewerk is a tremendous asset to the Mauthausen Memorial and its visitors.
The anniversary of the liberation on 5 May saw the publication of the new edition of our yearbook, which this year has a special focus on perpetrator studies. It wasn't until the 1990s that researchers started to take an interest in the perpetrators behind the Nazi crimes. This also applies to studies of the Mauthausen concentration camp. The current yearbook therefore focuses on the perpetrators at the Mauthausen concentration camp and uses interdisciplinary approaches to expand our methodological, chronological and geographical perspectives and build on previous findings.
'We are the next generation': this was the motto of our event on 7 May as part of the International Commemoration and Liberation Ceremony at Mauthausen. In honour of all the survivors, we held a reception at the Visitor Centre and around 300 guests accepted our invitation to the event. As well as a number of survivors and young people, we were also joined by the federal president, Alexander Van der Bellen, members of the federal government and representatives from the international delegations. At the reception, the winners of the 2016 Federal Youth Public Speaking Competition shared their thoughts with the guests on the importance of remembering the National Socialist period and gave short statements inspired by our motto for educational work at the Mauthausen Memorial 'What's it got to do with me?'
'Even if many people believe that they can live in the here and now without looking to the past or future, I am convinced that we need to learn from humanity’s mistakes for tomorrow.' (Florian Rücker, winner of the Federal Youth Public Speaking Competition in the category 'Classical Speech Making', speaking at the survivors’ reception)
Film Retrospective and Dialogforum
At this point I'd like to direct your attention to our annual Mauthausen Film Retrospective, where the theme this year is 'Individual Responsibility 1933 to 1945'. The film retrospective takes place from 23 to 26 August in front of the Visitor Centre at the Mauthausen Memorial.
From 18 to 19 September, our 9th Dialogforum Mauthausen will explore the topic of 'Addressing the National Socialist Past in Art' through lectures, discussions and workshops on film, literature, visual art, music and theatre. On 18 September, as part of the Dialogforum, an evening event at the Wissensturm in Linz will provide an opportunity for in-depth discussion and exchange.
My team and I look forward to welcoming you to our forthcoming events.
With best wishes,
and the Mauthausen Memorial team