The Charlotte-Taitl-Haus is a memorial site in Ried im Innkreis (Upper Austria). It’s named after Charlotte Taitl (15th May 1896 in Thomasroith/Ottnang - 16th October 1944 in Auschwitz). She lived in this house (Roßmarkt 29) until she was deported and murdered in Auschwitz.
The memorial site is dedicated to all victims of Austrofascism and National Socialism in the district. In May 2017 it was opened to the public not only as a place to remember 196 victims but as a place to learn about Nationalism and Fascism as well. The exhibition in Charlotte-Taitl-Hause is an external part of the Museum Innviertler Volkskundehaus. The public library, which is in the same building, grants free entrance to the exhibition during its opening hours.
The entrance area is situated in a black and white designed passage. Black plates inform about birth and death dates of the victims, the large bar code |031938||051945| marks the begin and end of a dark era.
The exhibition is designed as a "white cube". Names of the victims are written in white letters on white walls - almost invisible, but unforgotten. Visitors have to take their time to explore the room, to find and to read the names, to learn the biographies and to follow up Nationalism through history.
26 black steles are representing 26 victims – women, men and children. The long row of black steles are facing the white walls. Visitors are walking the small path between the walls and the steles. They are standing among them like equals, hearing about their fate and reading their biographies. In the middle of the room is the "think tank" for visitors. The art work "Judis" is presented in several show cases. The delicate paper head of the little murdered girl Judis is covered with styrofoam, which looks like the letter “S” – a reminder of the crimes against humanity caused by Schutzstaffel (SS).
Especially larger groups, like pupils, will benefit by arranging the big cubes: victim, emigrant, fear, courage, betrayal, violence, and more. They can also use the steles to pin information, worksheets and more with magnets on the rear panels.
The small addition at the end of the room is called "Info Box". It provides a huge amount of chronological and contextual information.
The inclusive exhibition provides equal access to information for all visitors: translations in sign language, audio description, easy-to-read texts as well as information in Braille. A workstation with books and PC (including internet access) is also available.
I was very proud and humbled at the same time, when I have been invited by Dr. Sieglinde Frohmann (Head of Cultural Department) and Dr. Doris Prenn (exhibition design) to join the team and help to built up this important, well designed and inclusive memorial.