Michaela Raggam-Blesch

Everyday Life and Persecution of «Mixed Families» in Vienna, 1938-1945

This project focuses on the everyday life and persecution of «mixed families» during the Nazi regime in Vienna. In the context of National Socialist ideology, marriages between Jews and non-Jews as well as the presence of their «half-Jewish» children were particularly offensive to the Nazi regime, since they betrayed the concept of clear separation of a German «Volksgemeinschaft» and the Jewish population of the Reich. This «unsolved problem» played an important role at the Wannsee conference and its follow-up meetings in March and October of 1942.

This project with its microhistorical setting follows Saul Friedländer and his concept of an integrated history, where the persecuted are taken seriously and where their perspective is taken into account as much as the actions of the perpetrators. Research on «mixed families», who by definition navigated between Jewish and non-Jewish worlds, also enhances our understanding of the intricacies of interpersonal relations during the Holocaust.