„Where have all the Jews gone“

For example: St. Pölten.
Migration and present times, displacement and memory

The project draws upon historical research on the Jewish history in Austria with a regional focus on St. Pölten (home town of the participating pupils) and combines it with the highly relevant issue of migration. The scope of the scientific work comprises three sub-projects, which are thematically and methodically interwoven and pursue the following objectives: To deepen the knowledge about the Jewish history of St. Pölten with regard to migration and displacement; to develop and evaluate generally valid parameters of successful and failed migration; to create awareness and to analyse the migration experience of oneself and of others, and to explore the cognitive process itself.

Within the context of an anonymous survey, to be carried out in the 6th and 7th grades of the partner schools (approx. 200 pupils), the first sub-project will determine the anchoring of the history of the Jewish community in St. Pölten within the collective memory of the young people, as well as their attitudes to migration, integration and exclusion. In the second sub-project, three classes (approx. 90 pupils) will analyse unedited Jewish memoirs from Austria in accordance with the methods of modern migration research, and will compare the largely voluntary migration of the 19th and 20th century with the forced migration following the “Anschluss” in 1938. The pupils’ own cognitive process will also be part of the investigation. The third sub-project (dissertation) explores “Jewish Migration to the rural Areas of Austria 1848 - 1921” and will incorporate the results provided by the pupils.

Introductory workshops will be held to provide pupils with information on the methods and practice of historical and social science research, on the analysis of autobiographical texts and on Jewish religion and culture. The field trip „Searching for Traces of Jewish St. Pölten“ will firmly link the theories to specific locations within the city. As a creative by-product, an accompanying film will also be produced, which makes use of historical footage.

This project has been completed.