Timothy Snyder Judenplatz 1010

A speech to Europe 2019


ERSTE Foundation has initiated a public lecture, which will be held annually at Judenplatz as of 2019, in honour of Europe Day. The first speaker is the prominent historian Timothy Snyder from Yale University, who is also a Permanent Fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna.

The place and time chosen for the lecture are no coincidence: European history is presented at Vienna’s Judenplatz like in no other place. Every year will provide a new opportunity to ask: Which text emanates from this urban space today? A text that shows the European narrative, which brought forth today’s Europe, in a different light. It is a contribution towards giving this idea of Europe – which for so long was an assurance of peace – a place in the centre of the city and of our awareness.

  • Date: Thu, 09. May, 7.00pm
  • Location: Judenplatz
  • Language: English
  • Duration: 45 min
  • Please note: No seating

You can also follow this event via livestream on this page.

Photo by Zsolt Marton – ZMART

A speech to Europe 2019

»The work of memory is in the present. In our century, a place such as the Judenplatz is not simply a square within a city, but a site that might be viewed from a distance, anywhere in the world, through technology. Jews were once taken from Vienna to be murdered, and that crime cannot be undone. Yet we can bring those who wish to learn from that history to Vienna, to this place. We have chosen this specific place as an opening to a general discussion: as a way to connect the part to the whole, the specific history to our general problems of ethics and politics. The work of memory is for the future. The ones and zeros of 1010 suggest our digital world, the binary language in which machines speak to one another, and in which we must struggle to assert human values, such as responsibility. It recalls an internet which can spread mendacity and hatred, as well as human contact and understanding. We are responsible for recalling the place, and all of the places, within the techniques of our times. And we are responsible for ensuring that the memory of the Holocaust helps us to shape the future. It is in the spirit that we inaugurate these lectures.« Timothy Snyder

An event organised by Wiener Festwochen, ERSTE Foundation and the Institute for Human Sciences.

Florian Bauer

Director Social Finance, Sustainability and Innovation
Since 2023, Florian Bauer has been responsible for social finance, sustainability and social innovation at ERSTE Foundation. Prior to this role, Florian worked in the NGO & Social Entrepreneurship sector for more than 13 years. He led the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), an international multilateral NGO that works to accelerate market-based deployment of renewable energy and energy efficient systems in developing countries, and was Managing Director & COO of the Impact Hub Vienna. From 2020-2023, Florian established strategic alliances with key partners and helped to create innovative semantic technology solutions at Semantic Web Company (SWC), a leading IT company in semantic AI solutions.