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THE NAME OF Vienna’s former mayor Karl Lueger was finally expunged from a section of the city’s main boulevard, the Ringstrasse, in July 2012. Lueger was a modernizer who, at the end of the 19th century, established Vienna’s streetcar system and brought the city’s gas and electricity networks into public ownership.

He was also a notorious anti-Semite whose xenophobic, illiberal politics were the catalyst for Theodor Herzl to write The Jewish State. Dr-Karl-Lueger-Ring had, by 2012, become a source of international embarrassment.

The street sign bearing Lueger’s name now hangs in Vienna’s Jewish Museum. Far better it be there than on the street outside the city hall and the university, as it was for nearly 80 years. This cleansing of the Ring was both necessary and important, but Vienna is far more than just one street.

Though the Ringstrasse shapes the urban space, Vienna is defined by small streets and narrow alleyways — almost 7,000 in total, all of which have to be named after something or, as is the case for 4,250 of those streets, someone.

FULL STORY Why do Vienna’s street signs honour so many anti-Semites? (Forward)

Home truths about Holocaust turn popular Lithuanian writer into public enemy Number 1 (Haaretz)
Author Ruta Vanagaite was the toast of Vilnius – until she wrote a book about her country’s involvement in the Nazi killing machine and cast doubts on a national hero. Now she says she’s scared to leave her own home without pepper spray

Republican lawmaker condemned for inviting Holocaust denier to State of the Union (Guardian)
Matt Gaetz says Charles Johnson, banned from Twitter for seeking help ‘taking out’ Black Lives Matter activist, is not white supremacist

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Posted by Panel Picks 2 weeks ago