Charlotte-Taitl-Haus

by Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue July. 18, 2018 2910 views

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.

Charlotte-Taitl-Haus, Rossmarkt 29.

Charlotte-Taitl-Haus, Rossmarkt 29.

Passage

Passage

Entrance

Entrance

Easy-to-read, sign language, audio description, plan of the room to touch, and information in Braille.

Easy-to-read, sign language, audio description, plan of the room to touch, and information in Braille.

Exhibition designer Doris Prenn adds the only color in an almost white and black room.

Exhibition designer Doris Prenn adds the only color in an almost white and black room.

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Jay Boggess 1 year, 3 months ago

Important series, Sigrid. Excellent work on the sober subject....

1 year, 3 months ago Edited
Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue Replied to Jay Boggess 1 year, 3 months ago

Thanks! blush blush blush

1 year, 3 months ago Edited
Jay Boggess Replied to Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue 1 year, 3 months ago

Hats off to You!

1 year, 3 months ago Edited
Camellia Staab 1 year, 4 months ago

Awesome work Sigrid. Congratulations!

1 year, 4 months ago Edited
Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue Replied to Camellia Staab 1 year, 4 months ago

Thanks! blush
Maybe I will post a picture, which Roland photographed. I was crawling on my knees through the room ...

1 year, 4 months ago Edited
David Swatton 1 year, 4 months ago

Now, when personal recollection of that time is all but gone I think it is vital that memorials such as this continue to make impressions in the national consciousness (of all nations) and to reinforce the importance of not forgetting how easy it is to slip down the dark slope of extreme nationalism. We only have to look around in Europe never mind further afield to see once again the rise of extreme political parties and the dire threat they pose.

I love the stark simplicity of the design... dramatic but not bleak. Very well done. I wish I could see it in person.

1 year, 4 months ago Edited
Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue Replied to David Swatton 1 year, 4 months ago

I was impressed too, because I saw it for the first time with my own eyes. It's so reduced, that everything stands out by its own and not by its design. And yes, the far right are coming back in big black boots. Imagine, the FPÖ was founded by an high ranking Nazi after the war and now they are beginning to show their true colors again, but only few are capable to recognise it! Austrians are like M&M's after peeling off the colorfull suger you will find a brown heart.
Yes, such memorials are helpful - especially, if pupils will visit them. But I fear that the families have more influencial for kids.

1 year, 4 months ago Edited
Joe Zink 1 year, 4 months ago

A powerful memorial, Sigrid.

1 year, 4 months ago Edited
Antonio Gil 1 year, 4 months ago

Congratulations for a work well done in this memorial. The steles remind me the stone blocks in the Berlin memorial

1 year, 4 months ago Edited
Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue Replied to Antonio Gil 1 year, 4 months ago

Thanks! I will tell it Doris and Sieglinde. blush 
I saw it for the first time, because I was only involved with the texts. I was really impressed, because it's full of ideas and it's no "moralizing show off", but shocking by story telling. Of course I'm impressed by the inclusive design too.

1 year, 4 months ago Edited
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