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JEWISH Eisenstadt

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Burgenland is the easternmost federal state of Austria. In its capital, Eisenstadt, which is about 60 km to the south of Vienna, an orthodox Jewish Community existed until 1938, which was part of the well-known Siebengemeinden (Sheva Kehillot). Jews had lived here since the Middle Ages and stood under the protectorate of the Esterházy noble family since the end of the 17th century.  Eisenstadt's first Jewish quarter, which existed from the Middle Ages to the 17th century, is located directly next to the Esterházy family's palace, where Joseph Haydn was working as a court musician. The younger Jewish quarter, which is also located in the immediate neighborhood of the palace and the connected park, is today home to the Austrian Jewish Museum and the Burgenland State Museum. Among the best-known names associated with Eisenstadt are the Wolf and Wertheimer families. Every year, numerous Jews make a pilgrimage to the grave of the famous Rabbi Meir Eisenstadt, who was active in Eisenstadt during the 18th century and whose works are still studied today.  As early as the Middle Ages, Eisenstadt was the only fully developed Jewish Community on the territory of today's Burgenland. The first reliable evidence of a Jewish settlement in the city dates back to 1296, and there are numerous records of Jewish families in Eisenstadt during the 14th and 15th centuries. After the expulsion of the Jews from Hungary in 1671, which also affected the Jewish Community of Eisenstadt, they received permission to return in the same year and the Jewish Community was re-established. From 1732 onwards, the Jewish quarter formed the independent community of "Unterberg-Eisenstadt". The local judge was confirmed by the landlord and received the judge's staff by him as a sign of his authority.  Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Karl Gruber In 1836, the community had its highest number of inhabitants, namely 906 Jews. After the end of the dependency of the Esterházy family in 1848, the Jews became free, equal (Hungarian) citizens. In 1871 they founded the independent "Großgemeinde Unterberg-Eisenstadt" as the "Israeliten-Gemeinde Eisenstadt" with its own mayor and senior civil servant. Only after the National Socialists came to power in Austria in 1938 Unterberg-Eisenstadt was incorporated into the Free City of Eisenstadt. The column with the chain with which the residents fenced off the neighbourhood on Shabbat to ensure peace is still a visible sign of political autonomy today.  Jews in Eisenstadt had to endure anti-Semitism in all eras. However, the expulsion, deprivation of rights and murder by the National Socialists surpassed anything they had suffered so far in history. Out of 446 Jews in Eisenstadt, about 250 survived the Shoah. Only two Jews from Eisenstadt returned after 1945.  The townscape of the former Jewish quarter (Unterberg-Eisenstadt) is still characterised by its residential buildings. The most prominent features are the elder building complex of the Wolf family with the preserved private synagogue ( today it is the Austrian Jewish Museum), the later building complex of the Wolf family (today it is the State Museum of Burgenland), as well as the older and the younger Jewish cemetery and the Wolf mausoleum on the slope of the Leithagebirge. The synagogue was presumably destroyed before the November Pogrom Night, later demolished and replaced by an office building.  

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TOURS OF Eisenstadt

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Day trip from Vienna: Fun, Art, Food & Culture

We will leave early morning to explore the most peaceful and relatively unknown part of Austria. Vienna woods is just a few minutes away and so different. Lets plan some amazing photo-stops and lets walk a little bit around the tranquil area. After a scenic drive through the southern vine street, we will reach BADEN - former residence city of the Habsburg family. After a coffee break we will continue to Forchtenstein castle. It is the only fortress in eastern Austria, that was never captured during the Turkish wars. The strong walls served as the treasury of the Esterhazy's princes, safeguarding all costly and precious possessions. This collection of family treasures and way more, can still be seen there today. Next stop will be the charming city of Eisenstadt, capital of Burgenland. Esterházy Palace in Eisenstadt is one of the most beautiful baroque palaces in Austria and presents a fascinating view of the resplendent life once lived at the court of the Princes Esterházy. But the palace is still the hub of the cultural scene today and regularly provides the picturesque backdrop for festivities and social events. Only a few minutes to recover, because the next sight is a "bloody window to Hungary's past". The iron curtain memorial!!!!!! The end of the soviet empire! See the place where the iron curtain was opened in 1989, even before the wall in Berlin was destroyed. Burgenland and Hungary share the Neusiedler See, a lake known for its reeds and shallowness, as well as its mild climate throughout the year. The Neusiedler See is Austria's largest lake, and is a great tourist attraction, bringing ornithologists, sailors, and wind and kite surfers into the region north of the lake. We will spend the rest of the day at and on the lake. Your personal, private guide, will now be your captain. The boat ride is included - does not have extra costs. Unique experience - explore Lake Neusiedl like a local, together with your captain Peter. Especially for families with KIDS a most entertaining excursion. Bring your sun glasses, sun cream and don't forget your swimwear. Enjoy the superior service and the personal atmosphere of this unique private tour to Austrias east and Hungary!

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World Jewish Travel Official May 24, 2022

The Jewish Story of Eisenstadt, Austria

Burgenland is the easternmost federal state of Austria. In its capital, Eisenstadt, which is about 60 km to the south of Vienna, an orthodox Jewish Community existed until 1938, which was part of the well-known Siebengemeinden (Sheva Kehillot). Jews had lived here since the Middle Ages and stood under the protectorate of the Esterházy noble family since the end of the 17th century.  Eisenstadt's first Jewish quarter, which existed from the Middle Ages to the 17th century, is located directly next to the Esterházy family's palace, where Joseph Haydn was working as a court musician. The younger Jewish quarter, which is also located in the immediate neighborhood of the palace and the connected park, is today home to the Austrian Jewish Museum and the Burgenland State Museum. Among the best-known names associated with Eisenstadt are the Wolf and Wertheimer families. Every year, numerous Jews make a pilgrimage to the grave of the famous Rabbi Meir Eisenstadt, who was active in Eisenstadt during the 18th century and whose works are still studied today.  As early as the Middle Ages, Eisenstadt was the only fully developed Jewish Community on the territory of today's Burgenland. The first reliable evidence of a Jewish settlement in the city dates back to 1296, and there are numerous records of Jewish families in Eisenstadt during the 14th and 15th centuries. After the expulsion of the Jews from Hungary in 1671, which also affected the Jewish Community of Eisenstadt, they received permission to return in the same year and the Jewish Community was re-established. From 1732 onwards, the Jewish quarter formed the independent community of "Unterberg-Eisenstadt". The local judge was confirmed by the landlord and received the judge's staff by him as a sign of his authority.  [caption id="attachment_30985" align="alignnone" width="1139"] Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Karl Gruber[/caption] In 1836, the community had its highest number of inhabitants, namely 906 Jews. After the end of the dependency of the Esterházy family in 1848, the Jews became free, equal (Hungarian) citizens. In 1871 they founded the independent "Großgemeinde Unterberg-Eisenstadt" as the "Israeliten-Gemeinde Eisenstadt" with its own mayor and senior civil servant. Only after the National Socialists came to power in Austria in 1938 Unterberg-Eisenstadt was incorporated into the Free City of Eisenstadt. The column with the chain with which the residents fenced off the neighbourhood on Shabbat to ensure peace is still a visible sign of political autonomy today.  Jews in Eisenstadt had to endure anti-Semitism in all eras. However, the expulsion, deprivation of rights and murder by the National Socialists surpassed anything they had suffered so far in history. Out of 446 Jews in Eisenstadt, about 250 survived the Shoah. Only two Jews from Eisenstadt returned after 1945.  The townscape of the former Jewish quarter (Unterberg-Eisenstadt) is still characterised by its residential buildings. The most prominent features are the elder building complex of the Wolf family with the preserved private synagogue ( today it is the Austrian Jewish Museum), the later building complex of the Wolf family (today it is the State Museum of Burgenland), as well as the older and the younger Jewish cemetery and the Wolf mausoleum on the slope of the Leithagebirge. The synagogue was presumably destroyed before the November Pogrom Night, later demolished and replaced by an office building.  

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