ג׳ באדר א׳ ה׳תשע״ד (February 3, 2014)
The first Jewish museum in the world was founded in Vienna in 1895, sponsored by a group of Viennese Jewish citizens. The collection focused on the culture and history of the Jews in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, particularly Vienna and Galicia. In the interwar years Zionist objects were added, reflecting the new political discussion at that time.
The museum was closed by the Nazis in 1938 directly after the Anschluss. In the last year of its existence the inventory listed 6,474 objects. In 1939 the museum collection was transferred to the Museum of Ethnology and other institutions in Vienna. The Anthropology Department of the Natural History Museum in Vienna used some of the items for its anti-Semitic propaganda exhibition “The physical and psychological appearance of the Jews.”
Most of the objects were returned to the IKG Vienna in the early 1950s, although some were not restituted until the 1990s. Over half of the objects have disappeared; it is practically impossible to discover whether they were stolen or deliberately destroyed. Objects once listed in the Jewish Museum collection turn up occasionally on the art and antiques market. The surviving objects – on permanent loan from the IKG to the present-day Jewish Museum Vienna – form a unique component of the current collection.
The JewishVienna app is an offline interactive application meant to guide visitors through landmarks points of Viennese Jewish history along a route that connects the two buildings of the Jewish Museum Vienna on Dorotheergasse and on Judenplatz. Points of interest are shown on both a list and a map view and explained with images and text, using geolocation to position them in relation to where a visitor is currently standing. The app works without an active internet connection, i.e. only GPS is required (no roaming charges).
A few tips for making the most of this app:
- the list view shows you the POIs in an order that is not meant to be followed exactly, but which would lead you in a leisurely way from one museum to the other.
- on the map view, the red dot shows your current location. If you are currently located outside the app’s map area ( i.e. outside Vienna’s inner ring road, or in New York or Paris) a red arrow will point to the general direction of your location relative to the map.
- the controls on the right allow you to zoom in to the detailed street view around your current location, or out to the general city view. You can also zoom and center on any other section of the map by double-tapping there.
- when you tap on to the marker for a particular POI on the map, you will first see a small pop-up balloon with the title of that POI. To select it and access the text and images slideshow, just tap on the balloon once more. To make the pop-up disappear and select another POI, just tap on any other part of the map.
- when you are inside the detail view of a POI, just flip through the images and text to follow the narrative to the end. If you have entered from the list view and want to see this POI on the map, just click on the map icon at the top right. If you click on the X, the slideshow will close and you will return to the overview (i.e. the list or map, depending on where you were before)
- the app contains both English and German texts. You can select the language after downloading.
Please be aware that the GPS signal may sometimes be weaker in small, narrow streets surrounded by tall buildings — but such is the charm of an old town.
App: JewishVienna – Between the Museums by Wiener Digital Manufaktur
Compatible: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Released: November 22, 2013
Publisher: Wiener Digital Manufaktur
Price: Free (get app)
Android version – click here
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