9/11 Memorial in New York: Bierlein commemorated the 3,000 victims – Austria


Bierlein reminded us that there is more that unites us than divides us.
© APA/BKA/ANDY WENZEL

On Saturday, Chancellor Bierlein held the 9/11 Memorial in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

Chancellor Brigitte Bierlein visited the 9/11 Memorial on Ground Zero on Saturday afternoon (local time) on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. “The unimaginable destruction and the terrible images of September 11, 2001 will never be forgotten,” said Bierlein, who laid down two white roses in memory of the victims.

9/11: Also two Austrians among the victims

Almost 3,000 people were killed in the Islamist terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. These included two people who were born in Austria.

Marian Hrycak (born February 10, 1945) worked for the tax and finance department of New York State. The family man was surprised by the attacks in his office. Oleh Wengerchuk was born on October 4, 1944 in Vienna and spent part of his childhood in camps for displaced persons during the Second World War, where he also met his future wife. The two were already grandparents when the traffic planner fell victim to terrorism at his workplace.

Bierlein: “We are more united than we are apart”

“The memorial is an eternal reminder to take a resolute fight against terror and war around the world and to recognize that we as human beings are connected across all differences,” said the Chancellor. “We are more united than we are apart. The United Nations is the place where international understanding in this sense has to be actively lived.”

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Bierlein is a guest at the Austrian Cultural Forum

The Chancellor was then a guest at the Austrian Cultural Forum in New York, where she also met foreign studio scholars from the Chancellery and Austrian artists. The Federal Chancellor said that promoting the arts is part of Austrian identity. It is important to her to meet artists “who, with their commitment, overcome boundaries and contribute significantly to the reputation of our art and culture location”.

In the evening, the former President of the Constitutional Court met well-known personalities who had emigrated with their families from Austria to the USA during National Socialism because of their Jewish origins and had made a career there. During a dinner there was an exchange with Nobel Prize winner Eric Kandel and his wife, the social medicine specialist Denise Kandel. The almost 90-year-old neuroscientist, psychiatrist and physiologist, together with other scientists, received the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2000 for research in the field of nervous diseases.

Among the guests in New York was the 92-year-old photo journalist Lisl Steiner. Born in Vienna, the family emigrated first to Argentina and then to the USA in the 1930s. “It is touching and testifies to human greatness that despite the often difficult past due to displacement, a special relationship with Austria still exists,” said Bierlein, paying respect to the former refugees.

Beer in New York: Program on Sunday

On Sunday morning the Chancellor will visit the New York “Leo Baeck Institute” and meet there with memorial service providers from Austria. With her visit, Bierlein wanted to emphasize Austria’s special responsibility with regard to the National Socialist persecution of Jews and the Holocaust, the Chancellor said. The “Leo Baeck Institute” has centers in Jerusalem, London and New York as well as a branch at the Jewish Museum in the German capital Berlin. It was founded in 1955 with the aim of preserving the cultural heritage of German-speaking Jewry.

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On Sunday afternoon, Bierlein and Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen will meet the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, at the UN headquarters. An exchange of views is then planned with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, in which, in addition to Bierlein and Van der Bellen, Environment Minister Maria Patek and Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg will also take part.

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