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Monday, September 19, 2011

Our World - Monument Against War and Fascism, Vienna

One of the most thought provoking discoveries I encountered in Vienna was the Monument Against War and Fascism on Albertinaplatz.

The monument was created in 1988-1991 to commemorate the victims of the Nazi regime in Austria(1938-45) and those killed in the air raids of the 2nd World War .

Some of these powerful sculptures by Alfred Hrdlicka comprise the memorial.

The split monument features the gates to a concentration camp, and made from granite cut from the Mauthausen Concentration camp. It is better known as" The Gates of Violence ", a symbolic reminder of war against terror with carved figures including chained slave labourers and a dying woman giving birth to a soldier.

This sad depiction features a bronze sculpture of an elderly Jewish man, on his hands and knees, scrubbing anti-Nazi slogans from the street surface with a toothbrush.

A piece of barbed wire, placed across the sculpture, is not meant to remind you of extermination camps. After doing a research back home, I discovered that the barbed wire was later added after people began using the sculpture as a bench.

The next sculpture represents a half-sculpted figure with its head partially buried in the stone. Orpheus entering the Underworld, reminds Austrians of the consequences of not keeping their government on track. It recalls those who died in air raids and in resistance to the Nazis.

And this one, aptly titled “Stone of the Republic,” commemorates the founding of the Austrian Republic in 1945 with engravings of the Austrian Declaration of Independence and the names of its signatories.

I noticed some passerbys placed flowers in memory of the victims of war and fascism. It was extremely moving and touching. The memorial was even more moving when you realized it was built over the remains of a building where 300 people who were hiding from the Nazis were buried alive in a cellar during an air raid.

Our World


  1. Its conceptual message of pain, struggle and hope were purely imbibed in this sculpture. A work of art that has thousands of thoughts and stories that would emblazon on the people of our present time.

    Biboy Fotograpiya
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  2. Excellent piece of work about those who faught fascism, thanks.

  3. Good reminder that war creates so much of hardship and havoc. Using the actual stuff from the concentration camp and remains of building added reality to the memorial depicting violence and cruelty of war.

  4. Thought scrubbing the floor with tooth brush was not 'painful' enough the Nazi added barbed wire. So its to shoo away tourists lolz.

  5. Oh saw my dream cooper in your last pix haha. Nice place with all the monuments together with the surrounding buildings and the church. Great shot. tQ.

  6. I know this impressive monument near Albertina Museum. It's wonderful that you shared your photos through your blog, so that many people will find out the explanation and meditate at peace and war.

  7. Beautiful pictures!

  8. Wow, that is so powerful. Great post and commentary and wonderful photos as always. The part about Orpheus and the Underworld especially resonated with me.

  9. Bonza photos and monument to the victims of WW2 especially the people who lost their lives in the cellar below the monument :-).

  10. These are just amazing--provocative, emotional, dignified....

  11. What a moving and powerful post and a very powerful memorial. And what stunning captures! A time I do hope that none of us forget, so that it can never happen again. Thank you for sharing this!


  12. What a powerful monument - your photos capture it well. The barbed wire seems appropriate, even if it was added after peoples' bad behavior.

  13. Wonderful shots. These sculptures are very unique.

  14. The split monument looks like split by an earthquake.

  15. Goosebumps while reading this story. Stories re Nazi regime really makes me cry.

    It's great that there are powerful statues like this to remind us of the past. In a way, this make us cherish life more and be thankful of TODAY.

    Great post, LR. Indeed, it is moving.

  16. Delicious photos, wonderful sculptures.

  17. through the time of hardships and pain;

    this sculptures now serves as reminders to the citizens and tourist attractions.

    keeps us on our feet of what we have today, and to say thanks to our ancestors for the great things they done so we can have what we have today.

    great shots, LR.

  18. A great post on these touching and impressive monuments. I 'm glad the memorial is located on the very spot it all happened. Thank you for sharing, have a great week!

  19. I wonder how many locals still notice the memorial. Certainly the ones who lost relatives, but others?
    People do not like to be reminded of their complicity or that terrible regime.

    An insightful and solemn post.

  20. Thanks for the photos and information about this very moving memorial.

  21. Nice post LR and very interesting too. I just watched a docu on TV the other day on Hitler and now seeing this on your blog... very sad indeed.. and very hard to understand why things happened the way they did.. thanks for sharing your pics and the history behind the sculptures...