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Brooklyn in Leopoldstadt

A delegation of the Jewish community in New York visited Vienna at the end of June. They got to know a city that confronts its own history in a responsible manner while also retaining, and expanding, its importance as a multicultural centre in Europe and a hub linking East and West.

Twinning of Brooklyn and Leopoldstadt
The partnership of Vienna's district of Leopoldstadt and New York's borough of Brooklyn was sealed at a twinning ceremony at the Vienna Days in New York in March 2007. The rapprochement of the two Jewish communities is a central element of this partnership - Leopoldstadt has been the Jewish centre of Vienna for centuries. Deputy Mayor Renate Brauner also invited New York's Jewish community for a return visit to Vienna.

Guests with Viennese roots
Representatives from the fields of business, media, financing and banking followed the invitation at the end of June. Aged between 20 and 30 years, the visitors knew Vienna only through stories they had heard. For some Vienna is the hometown of their ancestors - reason enough for Renate Brauner not only to underline Vienna's many positive sides, but also to address the dark sides of its past:

"Never forget history"
"Let us never forget what happened during the Holocaust. We cannot make this dark chapter of history undone but we can show that it has been closed." Vienna's City Councillor for Urban Development Rudolf Schicker emphasised that Vienna had always been a multicultural centre. Both politicians answered their guests' questions on more recent European phenomena such as xenophobia but also spoke about the many programmes and initiatives to promote integration in Vienna.


Looking for traces of the past
In addition to the programme of events - which included visits to international organisations based in Vienna (UNO, OSCE, OPEC) as well as to the Office of the Austrian President and the Diplomatic Academy - some of the guests also took the time to engage in personal ancestor research or to follow the traces of their grandparents' youth in Vienna.

Intensive cultural exchange
The aim of this visit and future visits to Vienna is to establish a profound connection between New York and Vienna and to intensify the cultural exchange between the two cities. The visitors from New York also showed great interest in Vienna as a finance and business location and as a major hub linking East and West.

Further information: Vienna in New York 2007
erstellt am: 2007-07-05