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Jewish Walking Tour

The most interesting walking tour we have taken so far has been about the settlement of the Jews in Vienna and Austria. Our tour guide, Thomas informed us of the reasons why they settled in Austria, the progression of their organized persecution, and also about specific synagogues within the city (past and present). It was a surprise to me when I learned that the Viennese Jews were so directly connected with World War II. In 1938, a Jewish owned hotel was taken over and transformed into a Gestapo. In the building, thousands of Jews and other people who opposed Nazism lost their lives. The building no longer stands because it was bombed and destroyed at the end of the war. The modern day Jewish Synagogue is hidden behind tall buildings and is barely visible. This, along with the patrolling of a police officer on a daily basis prevents the building from being vandalized by the neo-Nazi's who have hard feelings till this day.

The most depressing fact of the day however was this: In Austria alone, there were 65,000 Jews killed out of 6,000,000 world wide.

-Nate Clemmer

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