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In remembrance of the Annexation: "Well-Defended Democracy – 1938/2018" symposium on 12 March

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[Translate to English:] Bild: Günter Brus, Selbstbemalung II

(Vienna, 5 March 2018) Following annexation of Austria to the German Reich, it only took a few weeks for the Nazi ideology to pervade Austria. We are still feeling the consequences today. This event marked a deep caesura for MedUni Vienna and the University of Vienna. For many years nobody spoke about the consequences of this caesura and it was only much later that they started to face facts and deal with the historical intellectual consequences of March 1938. At the initiative of the Alumni Club of MedUni Vienna, the two universities are organising a joint scientific conference entitled "Well-Defended Democracy – 1938/2018" to highlight the present-day lessons that are to be learned from those events and what attitude we should have to them.

The Medical University of Vienna and the University of Vienna are therefore organising an international scientific conference to mark the 80th anniversary and this will take place on Monday, 12 March 2018 (16:30 – 20:30 hrs) and on Tuesday, 13 March 2018 (9:00 – 17:45 hrs). The symposium will be held in the Van Swieten Hall of MedUni Vienna (Van-Swieten-Gasse 1a, 1090 Vienna).

The first day of the symposium on 12 March (start-time 16:30 hrs) is entitled "Well-Defended Democracy – 1938/2018".  

Items on the agenda:
– Revolutionary forced repatriation and the political chameleon effect (Oliver Rathkolb, Institute of Contemporary History, University of Vienna)

- From occupation of the Rhineland to the Munich Agreement. Nazi revisionism and the European powers (Sibylle Steinbacher, Fritz Bauer Institute, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany)

- Panel debate with Wolfgang Schütz (Rector emeritus of the Medical University of Vienna), journalist Gudrun Harrer (Der Standard) and former Austrian Chancellor Franz Vranitzky, who was the first to qualify the hitherto officially upheld theory of Austria as a victim in his speech to the Austrian National Council on 8 July 1991. (Moderator: Marianne Enigl). This is followed on 13 March by a scientific symposium entitled: "Annexation in March 1938: consequences for medicine and society." The detailed programme can be found in the attached PDF.

Following on from the symposium on 13 March (from 18:00 hrs) Christiane Druml and Markus Müller will open the exhibition entitled "The Vienna Medical Faculty 1938 to 1945" in the Josephinum, Collections of the Medical University of Vienna (Währinger Str. 25, 1090 Vienna).

Media representatives and interested members of the public are invited to join the discussion – admission is free.
Please register at:

We will be happy to organise interviews with the speakers in advance for any media representatives who are interested.