Vienna, 15 December 2009 Press release

Spindelegger: "The Maimonides Centre is a vigorous sign of Jewish life in Austria"

Foreign Minister meets representatives of the Jewish Community

Vienna, 15 December 2009 - "The new campus of the Jewish religious community is not only a human enrichment for Vienna but also a vigorous sign by the active and self-confident Jewish community in Austria. The centre will become another lively place of encounter and exchange between Jewish and non-Jewish citizens", said Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger after a meeting he had with the President of the Jewish World Congress, Ronald Lauder, and representatives of the German-speaking Jewish communities, including the President of Vienna’s Jewish religious community, Ariel Muzicant, the President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Charlotte Knobloch, and the President of the Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities, Herbert Winter. The occasion for the meeting was today’s opening of the Maimonides Centre in the second district of Vienna, for which the Foreign Minister expressed his congratulations.

"The reinvigorated Jewish life in Central Europe is an indispensable part of a reunified Europe. The Foreign Ministry is in many ways working closely and trustfully together with the Jewish communities in Austria and abroad. I am keen on further developing this cooperation in the future, and on strengthening Jewish life in Austria and in Vienna in general", stressed Spindelegger.

"The fact that the contributions of the Austrian Settlement Fund are recognized and appreciated internationally – also in the USA – is an important confirmation that our efforts to assume our moral responsibility toward the victims of National Socialism are acknowledged. The social benefits granted as part of the Fund represent significant gestures toward the survivors of the Holocaust. Austria also makes a sustainable contribution in the area of ‘Holocaust education’, reflected in the various activities we carry out as part of our chairmanship of the ‘Holocaust Task Force’", said the Foreign Minister.

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