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Volume 6 of the series Decisions of the Arbitration Panel

New Exhibition - Update

Information on the present state of the Redesign of the Austrian Exhibition at the State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau

In 2009, the Austrian Federal Government resolved the renewal of the Austrian exhibition, in place since 1978, simultaneously entrusting the National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism with the coordination of the redesign. Federal Ministries, the Future Fund, the National Fund and the Federal Provinces are all contributing towards the funding for the exhibition.

The aim of the redesign is to portray Austria's perception of its National Socialist history in a way that is in keeping with the times. Above all, the exhibition is to portray the fates of Austrian victims in Auschwitz and Austrian involvement in the perpetration and facilitation of the crimes committed there.  

In order to ensure that the planned exhibition has both a solid scientific foundation and is met with broad social consensus, in late 2009/early 2010, two advisory committees were established: the Academic Advisory Board, comprised of experts from the field of science, the culture of remembrance and memorial site education, is led by Hon. Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Neugebauer (former Director of the Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance). The Societal Advisory Board represents the interests of affected groups such as victims' associations and religious communities and is chaired by Dr. Herta Neiß (University of Linz, Camp Community Auschwitz).  

In coordination with the management of the State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau, the thematic emphases of the new Austrian exhibition were determined based on a rough concept produced by Dr. Brigitte Bailer, Dr. Heidemarie Uhl and Dr. Bertrand Perz.

1. Historical background: National Socialist rule in Austria, persecution and deportation
2. Austrians as persecutees in Auschwitz
3. Austrians as perpetrators in Auschwitz
4. Austrian resistance in Auschwitz
5. Analysis and citation from the exhibition of 1978

Moreover, an area of contemplation, such as already exists in the present exhibition, is also to be incorporated in the new exhibition. The present exhibition shall also be documented and published.

The work on the project is currently focused on developing the contents of the themes that have been determined and establishing the extent of the renovation work required on the building housing the exhibition.

The project will continue to progress in close coordination with the State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau, the "host" to the Austrian exhibition. 


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