Actually, if you look on a map, the Dr. Karl-Lueger-Ring is not to be found. It was changed to Universitäts-Ring, which makes sense because it’s in front of the University (which looks awesome by the way. We snuck a peek inside). Lueger (1844-1910) was the mayor of Vienna, but according to Andreas Mailath-Pokorny, the Executive Councillor for Culture, Lueger is the “founder of modern Antisemitism.”(derStandard.at) So finally after many years of debates and even a few demonstrations, the name was changed.
Two of the newspaper articles I read said that the name was a long-debated issue and that the University asked to have the name changed. The other, oddly enough, didn’t mention the political and bureaucratical reasons why the name was changed, it mainly stressed Lueger’s past and let the reader make his own conclusions. Wien.at says that the University has long wanted the name changed. I do wonder why it took them so long though. The articles never address that. According to Mailath-Pokorny, the city feels it can change the name because “there are several other monuments and buildings that sufficiently commemorate Lueger in the city.” (wien.at) So even though the city removed this one memory of Lueger, there are still many others. It makes one wonder how much of this was merely politicians at play, “Look ma, I’m being good and getting rid of that memory of Antisemitism. Don’t look in the closet though, I didn’t clean there.” It is so sad that this change only happened this year, though. Austria still has much of its past to come to terms with.
Here’s a Karl Lueger Monument still standing.
And, in a totally different part of town, there’s still a Dr. Karl Lueger statue and the square is still called Dr.-Karl-Lueger-Platz.
Information and pictures taken from:
German Word of the Day: umwandeln. To convert. Der Dr. Karl-Lueger-Ring ist nach Universitätsring umwandelt. The Dr. Karl Lueger Ring is converted to University Ring. (Not it’s not the religious sense, as far as I can tell.)