For the past 25 years, the Jewish Museum Hohenems has been collecting traces of Jewish history in Vorarlberg, Tyrol, and the greater Lake Constance area—hereby compiling a quintessential history of the Diaspora. Thousands of descendants of the Jewish families from Hohenems still feel a sense of connection to this place that is part of their own history while at the same time viewing themselves as citizens of the world. Thus, they provide the museum with critical impulses.
Simultaneously, objects that find their way into the museum’s collection signify discontinued history. Be it that family traditions can no longer be passed on or objects have become homeless in the wake of changes in location and language, generational disruptions, and dispersal or else, traditions and continuities have been violently torn apart or destroyed. Some objects are loaded with contradicting interpretations, appropriations, and denials. They carry the traces of refusal and rejection such as the 1945 gravestone of a Bregenz Jewish forced laborer that had been stolen twice from a cemetery in Bregenz and disposed of in the Bregenzer Ache before it found, for now, its final resting place in the museum’s collection.
With the exhibition “Odd” the museum provides insight into the wealth of various forms of memory and oblivion whose material traces are preserved in the museum’s collection.
Read more about the exhibition here.