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Tourist countries \ Austria \ Memorial to the victims of Nazism in Vienna on Helmut Square Zilka

Memorial to the Victims of Nazism in Vienna at Helmut Square Zilka

A memorial to the victims of Nazism in Vienna is on the square of Helmut-Zilk-Platz. Many tourists visit this place, but even the guides are not well aware of exactly what each element of the composition is dedicated to. Let's try to tell in detail.

The Helmut Zilka Square is the youngest in Vienna, it was separated from Albertinaplatz in 2009. The reason for this separation was just this monument.

In the center of the composition

Две центальные статуи посвящены жертвам фашизми и войны

The central part of the sculptural composition (pictured right) is dedicated to the victims of Nazism. Recall that in 1938 Austria became part of Hitler's Germany (the Third Reich). This process, called "Anschluss", went peacefully. He was perceived in Austria and Germany as a reunification of the Germans as part of a single state (read an article about the history of Austria ).

These two sculptures are made of granite and are called "gates of violence". They are dedicated to all people brutally tortured and killed in concentration camps in Austria.

The largest concentration camp was Mauthausen, where prisoners of war of the Soviet army were mainly detained, so in many respects this monument is dedicated to our compatriots. More than 30,000 Russians, Ukrainians, Byelorussians and other representatives of the peoples of the former USSR perished in Mauthausen.

It is for this reason that we pay so much attention to this Viennese landmark . Of course, the "gates of violence" are dedicated not only to our compatriots, but to all prisoners of the Nazi concentration camps.

As you can see, there are two sculptures. One is dedicated to the victims of repression, and the other is to the victims of the war. See a small photo gallery of this pair of sculptures below.

The location of this monument was not chosen by chance. Until 1945, there was the house of Philipphof. His cellars served as a bomb shelter during US air raids on Vienna. On March 12, 1945, a large aerial bomb hit the house, destroying it completely. More than 300 people died in the cellars.

The house was decided not to be restored, the wreckage was completely removed in 1947 and this square was formed, which became part of the Albertina Square. The monument here was built only in 1988 and caused a lot of controversy. Indeed, as you noticed from the photo, it can produce a terrible impression.

Бронзовая статуя лежащего на коленях еврея

Another small, but important part of the central part of the composition is the bronze sculpture of the "lying Jew".

This separate section is devoted to all the murdered and exiled Jews. The most famous exile was, of course, Sigmund Freud. Of the known victims of the regime, you can name the artist Fredrik Hundertwasser , who was able to escape death, but lost all his relatives.

Symbolism of the composition can be described as follows. You pass through the "gates of violence" and get to that part of the square, which is devoted to the fight against Nazism and the formation of a new Austrian republic. Put simply, "from the horrors of war and mass violence Austria has come to the resistance and the new state."

The second part of the composition

This part of the composition consists of two parts. The front marble sculpture symbolizes the fighters for freedom and humanism, and a large stone symbolizes the formation of the new Republic of Austria.

Эти статуи посвящены борцам с фашизмом и новой республике Австрии

A courageous figure symbolizes fighters against Nazism.

The opposition to the Nazis existed in Austria. It was not armed, as in neighboring Yugoslavia. The Austrian anti-Nazis did not hide in the woods, but tried with a word and persuasion to achieve resistance to Hitler. Most of them were eventually arrested and killed in the same concentration camps.

Among them, the famous group "Red Chapel" and even German intelligence chief Admiral Wilhelm Franz Canaris. Very famous was Count Klaus von Stauffenberg, who made an unsuccessful attempt on Hitler. He was glorified in many ways by the Hollywood film "Operation Valkyrie", where his role was played by Tom Cruise.

From the Austrians it is possible to note the theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, whom the Nazis stripped naked and hung on April 9, 1945.

Further from the statue to fighters against fascism is the "stone of the republic." It is carved a new declaration of independence of Austria and the names of those people who participated in the proclamation of the new Austrian state.

To many tourists the history of the formation of the modern republic of Austria seems simple and uninteresting, and the merits of Karl Renner (the first president of the new Austria) are insignificant. But this is not so.

Карл Реннер - отец австрийской нации

In April 1945, Austria was in a difficult situation. Part of the country, including the capital of Vienna, was controlled by Soviet troops.

Stalin saw in Austria a new communist republic, and many Western politicians made plans to join this country to Bavaria or the creation of a separate state "Danube Federation". The independence and integrity of Austria "hung in the balance."

It was Karl Renner and his associates who signed the declaration of independence of Austria on April 27, 1945 and formed the government.

Austrian politicians wisely used the Moscow Declaration of 1943, where the representatives of the USSR, Great Britain and the United States declared the Anschluss and the independence of Austria null and void, provided the steps of the Austrians themselves in this direction.

As a result, Austria remained a free and democratic state. The Declaration of Independence of Austria was signed only in 1955 in Vienna in the Belvedere Palace .

The author of most of the sculptures is Alfred Hrdlicka (Alfred Hrdlicka). He specialized in similar works related to the condemnation of violence and denunciation of the dark sides of human nature. He is no longer with us, he died in 2009.

Mode of operation attractions: 24 hours a day.

Entry price: Free.

How to get there: Take the Vienna subway to Herrengasse station (3rd line).

And go along the street Herrengasse 500 meters to the Vienna Opera. The most difficult thing is to choose one of the directions along the street. Photos from the square you will find in the gallery below, they will help you navigate.

Remember that after leaving the meters on Herrengasse you need to go to the right. If you met the Hofburg Palace after 150 meters, then you are moving in the right direction. If the palace area is not observed, then turn back.

Read our articles about Austria and about the city of Vienna ( links below ), and good impressions themselves.

Read about Austria on our website


Interesting facts about Austria

History of Austria briefly for tourists

The 10 most famous Austrians

Resorts in Austria. Lake Carinthia

Sölden Resort


All about money in Austria

What can I bring from Austria

How much to fly to Austria


How to get from Vienna airport to the city

Map and metro map of Vienna in Russian


Austrian desserts - apple strudel

Wiener Schnitzel


Sightseeing in Austria

Memorial to the Victims of Fascism in Vienna

Hohostervicz - the most impregnable castle

Hundertwasser House in Vienna

Vienna City Hall


Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna

Belvedere Palace in Vienna

Treasury of the Habsburgs and the Hofburg Palace


St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna

Votivkirche Church (vows) in Vienna


Klagenfurt - history, photo, what to see

Miniatures Park in Klagenfurt

Klagenfurt Cathedral

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