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Jewish Museum, housed in small Viennese palace Photo: AFP
Jewish Museum, housed in small Viennese palace Photo: AFP

Vienna's Jewish museum does Hollywood

Museum reopens its doors with first big exhibit dedicated to the Jewish heritage in Hollywood, from first studio bosses to modern movie characters

Published: 10.26.11, 07:59 / Israel Culture

Vienna's Jewish Museum reopened its doors last week after a thorough renovation, with a new exhibit dedicated to the first film studio bosses in Hollywood, many of whom were Jews emigrated from Eastern Europe.


"(It is) a lively house, a house that will show that after 1945 in Vienna a Jewish community emerged again, a very lively community, a very diverse community," director Danielle Spera told journalists at a preview of the refurbished museum.


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The museum, housed in a small Viennese palace, retraces the history of the city's Jewish community, decimated after Nazi Germany's invasion of Austria in 1938.


The third biggest in Europe in the early 1900s, Vienna's Jewish community shrank from some 185,000 before 1938 to just a few thousands after the war, following a mass exodus abroad and the extermination of Jews in Nazi death camps.


"Jewish culture was, is and hopefully always will be an integral part of Vienna," Vienna's city councillor in charge of culture, Andreas Mailath-Pokorny, said however.


The first big exhibit at the museum, which opened to the public on Wednesday, is dedicated to the Jewish heritage in Hollywood, from the first studio bosses who were Eastern European emigrants – including Paramount founder Adolf Zukor, Samuel Goldwyn of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, or William Fox – to modern movie characters.


Entitled "Bigger than Life: 100 Years of Hollywood, a Jewish experience," it will run until April 2012.



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