Commemoration ceremony for the former Hotel Metropole at Morzinplatz, Vienna
A project with students of the Culinary School Judenplatz (GAFA)
Performance and social sculpture by Martin Krenn, 2015
Idea and realisation: Martin Krenn, Wolfgang Schlag
Participants: Jan Bauer, Julia Boublik, Peter Busek, Felix Edlinger, Adrian Fitz, Raphael Friesacher, Iris Hagen, Christian Jung, Gloria Ligorio, Thomas Malik, Elias Metzke, Nikola Mladenovic, Julia Regitschnig, Janette Sadkowska, Lukas Stagl (students of the advanced training course for tourism, Culinary School Judenplatz (GAFA))
In co-operation with the teachers: Christina Mahrhofer, Max Wernisch, Harald Fargel
Radio project: Shenja von Mannstein
Speakers who have visited the Culinary School in the course of the development of the project: Marianne Schulze, Tal Adler, Eduard Freudmann, Lisl Ponger, Ines Garnitschnig, Hans Breuer
Speakers at the Gedenktafel: Mon 18 May: Ari Rath, Tue 19 May: Marianne Schulze, Wed 20 May: Hans Breuer
In the context of Wiener Festwochen 2015, students of the Culinary School Judenplatz, Vienna (GAFA) joined forces with visual artist Martin Krenn to develop a memory project around the former Hotel Metropole.
The Jewish owners of the hotel were expropriated immediately after the Anschluss in 1938, while the building was transformed into the biggest Gestapo headquarters of National Socialist Germany with a staff of up to 900 workers.
A Gedenk-Tafel (German for memorial plaque, but “Tafel” also means dinner table) is to recall the background of Hotel Metropole: while a short text on a traditional memorial plaque provides information about the history of the site, this project serves to construct a different kind of remembrance – one that is not designed for being read, but for communication.
The commemoration ceremony takes the form of a table set up in public space as a mise-en-scène recalling a restaurant of the former hotel. The event is put up within sight of the former location of Hotel Metropole.
On three days from 18 to 20 May 2015 from 12.45 to 3 p.m., contemporary witnesses, local residents, historians, artists, students, etc. were invited to take a seat at this temporary memorial site and join in the communication.
The students of the Culinary School Judenplatz (GAFA) set up a reception desk, served original dishes of the former hotel restaurant and talked with guests about their historical research as well as about anti-Fascism today. After dinner at 2 p.m., talks by invited speakers addressed the history both of Hotel Metropole and of the Viennese Gestapo headquarters located there from 1938 to 1945.
When the Gestapo headquarters in Vienna took up operation at Hotel Metropole on 1 April 1938, the first transport of Austrian prisoners to the Dachau concentration camp took place the very same day. In the basement rooms, political adversaries were interrogated, tortured and killed. 80 percent of the officials and employees were recruited from the Austrian police force.
In a four-month preparatory phase organised as part of the normal school curriculum, the young people conducted interviews with contemporaries of the era in question, talked to historians and artists and moreover developed a radio feature for the Ö1 series Moment – Leben heute, which was broadcast on 13 May.
Gedenktafel Hotel Metropole
18, 19, 20 May 2015, 12.45 to 3 p.m., Morzinplatz 1, 1010 Vienna
Kitchen, service and moderation: students of GAFA
Open-house day at GAFA
28 May 2015, 12 a.m., Judenplatz 3-4, 4th floor, 1010 Vienna
Gedenktafel Hotel Metropole is part of the group exhibition “Hotel Metropole. Giving Memory a Future”
Into the City Centrale, Morzinplatz 1 / Wiener Festwochen 2015
29. May . 21. June, Thursday – Sunday, 2pm – 9pm
Open on holidays, free admission