LAST UPDATE: 08.02.2018; 17:01

The Importance of Vienna’s Jewry in Cultural History

In the last few decades of the 19th century many Jewish families that had been successful in industry, trade and banking, increasingly turned their attention to the arts and sciences, as sponsors, practising artists or scholars. Without their contribution, fin-de-siècle Vienna’s role as a centre of culture would in fact be unthinkable.

By the end of the 19h century, however, the spectrum of Jewish identities has started to change: While the progressive social integration of Jews had proceeded in a climate where Jews saw assimilation either as an opportunity or opted for assimilation under social and economic pressure, the emerging racial anti-Semitism, to which Theodor Herzl reacted by his Zionist movement, now began to form an insurmountable wall of separation.