By Matti Bunzl
Within the Nineteen Nineties, Vienna's Jews and queers deserted their clandestine lifestyles and emerged into the city's public sphere in remarkable numbers. indicators of Modernity lines this improvement within the context of critical ecu background. Jews and homosexuals are signposts of an exclusionary means of nation-building. solid of their smooth roles within the past due 19th century, they functioned as Others, permitting a countrywide group to visualize itself as a website of ethnic and sexual purity. In Matti Bunzl's incisive ancient and cultural research, the Holocaust seems because the catastrophic fruits of this violent undertaking, an try and eliminate modernity's abject by-products from the physique politic. As signs of Modernity indicates, notwithstanding international warfare II introduced an finish to the genocidal persecution, the nation's exclusionary common sense endured, accounting for the continued marginalization of Jews and homosexuals. no longer till the Nineteen Seventies did person Jews and queers start to problem the hegemonic subordination--a resistance that, through the Nineteen Nineties, used to be joined via the state's makes an attempt to make sure and verify the ongoing presence of Jews and queers. signs of Modernity offers an account of this radical cultural reversal, linking it to geopolitical alterations and to the supersession of the ecu geographical region through a postmodern polity.
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Extra info for Symptoms of modernity: Jews and queers in late-twentieth-century Vienna
Having constituted the imagined community in terms of collective victimization, Austria’s politicians needed to disallow any categorical distinctions between Austrian and Jewish victims. The result of this situation was an 34 S U B O R D I NAT I O N act of cynical universalization. Jews, it was suggested, could be reintegrated into the national imaginary if they accepted their position as fellow victims. “We have all suVered,” was the way Chancellor Leopold Figl put it in 1946. ”17 Figl’s paradigmatic sentiment may have implied a theory of postwar Jewish integration; the practical situation, however, rendered it an impossibility.
In regard to Jews, the situation is straightforward. Much like in the Anglo-American context, the terms Juden (Jews) and Jude/Jüdin (Jew [masculine and feminine]) function both on an emic and etic level. While derogatory diminutives such as Jud do exist in speciWc antisemitic contexts, there ultimately is a valuational convergence between the group’s hegemonic designation and its self-appellation. And while the terms’ referential Weld continues to be anchored in a notion of race, thereby reXecting the genocidal contingencies of Central European modernity, they are not in and of themselves the object of ongoing contestation.
72 The Nazis, of course, very nearly succeeded in realizing their modernist vision of a racially and sexually homogeneous society. But as Germans and Austrians wrestled with the devastation brought on by World War II, the symptoms of modernity had already begun to make their reappearance in the countries’ urban centers. This book endeavors to trace their postwar history. By charting the trajectory of Jewish and lesbian/gay life in postHolocaust Vienna, I seek to document acts of resistance and accommodation and hope to reconstruct cultural patterns.