Following the advent of the National Socialist regime in the year 1938, more than 2,700 mostly Jewish affiliates of the University of Vienna were dismissed and subsequently driven away and/or murdered - lecturers, students and administration employees. Furthermore, over 200 people were stripped of their academic titles.
In 2008, 70 years after the so-called "Anschluss" [annexation] and the pogroms of what came to be cynically called the Kristallnacht [Crystal Night], the University of Vienna commemorates this injustice and is aware of the amount of shared responsibility it bears for this inconceivable atrocity perpetrated against its affiliates. For the first time ever, the names of those dismissed, exiled and disenfranchised men and women are chronicled in this memorial book. It contains the names of the lecturers dismissed and students expelled for "racial" and/or "political" reasons whose venia docendi [post-doctoral lecture qualifications] or academic titles were rescinded.
It is of paramount importance that the victims of the National Socialist persecution at the University of Vienna (including the Vienna School of Medicine, which in the intervening years became an independent institution) remain part of the collective memory of today's University. In its Guiding Principles, as defined in 1999, the Senate of the University admitted the involvement of the University and its affiliates in the crimes committed by Nazis. The University of Vienna endeavors to consistently remain "a place that reflects variety and diversity and uses them for its further development. Variety manifests itself in different skills and life forms, governed by parameters like gender, age, level of education, cultural, ethnic and religious affiliation, sexual orientation, parenthood, disability or ailment." (Development plan 2008).
This memorial book is not complete; rather, it should be regarded as a historical document and a thought-provoking impulse. Work is in progress and will be for a long time to come. In spite of in-depth scientific research, this list of names and its accompanying online data base are far from completion, which is difficult if not impossible. The research process is ongoing and those involved hope to discover more names of forgotten victims of National Socialism, who will consequently take their place amid their peers in the pages of this book. The project team would be extremely grateful for any relevant information or references. They are painfully aware of the fact that past injustice cannot be expiated by this, their work. Rather, this is a belated, symbolic initiative, unfortunately destined never to be completed. This document is dedicated to the Present and to the Future, as a memento and a caveat addressed to all affiliates of the University: "Nip evil in the bud".