Heidi Schatzl "Dear Ernst F. Brod, - eine Antwort", Erlauf, 2018 © Wolfgang Woessner
Heidi Schatzl "Dear Ernst F. Brod, - eine Antwort", Erlauf, 2018 © Wolfgang Woessner
Heidi Schatzl "Dear Ernst F. Brod, - eine Antwort", Erlauf, 2018 © Wolfgang Woessner
Heidi Schatzl "Dear Ernst F. Brod, - eine Antwort", Erlauf, 2018 © Wolfgang Woessner
Heidi Schatzl "Dear Ernst F. Brod, - eine Antwort", Erlauf, 2018 © Wolfgang Woessner
Heidi Schatzl "Dear Ernst F. Brod, - eine Antwort", Erlauf, 2018 © Wolfgang Woessner
Heidi Schatzl "Dear Ernst F. Brod, - eine Antwort", Erlauf, 2018 © Wolfgang Woessner
Heidi Schatzl "Dear Ernst F. Brod, - eine Antwort", Erlauf, 2018 © Wolfgang Woessner
Heidi Schatzl "Dear Ernst F. Brod, - eine Antwort", Erlauf, 2018 © Wolfgang Woessner
Heidi Schatzl "Dear Ernst F. Brod, - eine Antwort", Erlauf, 2018 © Wolfgang Woessner
Heidi Schatzl "Dear Ernst F. Brod, - eine Antwort", Erlauf, 2018 © Wolfgang Woessner
Heidi Schatzl "Dear Ernst F. Brod, - eine Antwort", Erlauf, 2018 © Wolfgang Woessner
Heidi Schatzl "Dear Ernst F. Brod, - eine Antwort", Erlauf, 2018 © Wolfgang Woessner
Heidi Schatzl "Dear Ernst F. Brod, - eine Antwort", Erlauf, 2018 © Wolfgang Woessner
Heidi Schatzl "Dear Ernst F. Brod, - eine Antwort", Erlauf, 2018 © Wolfgang Woessner
Heidi Schatzl "Dear Ernst F. Brod, - eine Antwort", Erlauf, 2018 © Wolfgang Woessner
 

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„Dear Ernst F. Brod, – eine Antwort“



Heidi Schatzl and Maria Theresia Moritz held workshops for one year in which schoolkids explored the life of Ernst F. Brod (1901–1978), a Jewish social democrat from Erlauf who had to flee from Austrofascism in 1934 and from the Nazis in 1938. As part of the workshops, they created objects and wrote letters that were inspired by Brod’s life story.
The artist Heidi Schatzl had previously worked with Brod’s 2,000-page autobiography in the form of a wall relief called “The Examined Life/Das geprüfte Leben” in Erlauf in 2017. In this previously unknown manuscript, Brod writes about the history of Erlauf and Austria in the context of the major historical developments of the 20th century. Heidi Schatzl transferred Brod’s reflections on the “small” autobiographical events in relation to the “large” historical developments into a room-filling installation by making a wall relief of collected images from private photo albums and archives about the main figures in Brod’s narrative together with selected pages from his autobiography.

In his autobiography, Brod described the small town of Erlauf not only before the Nazi period, but also during, when his family was stripped of their possessions and killed. After the war, when the survivors of Jewish families did not return, Erlauf “lost its memory,” Brod wrote. Heidi Schatzl used these memories that were thought to have been lost as a starting point for her work, which she intended as a way of physically and externally storing the memory of Brod’s life story and the collective memory of the town.

Before this symbol of collective memory is dismantled in 2018, the panels will be given to local students at the artist’s request, so they can gradually build up their own interpretation of Brod’s legacy. In the assisted workshops, for example, sixth-grade students from class 6C at the high school in Melk selected passages from Brod’s autobiography and used these to create objects and write personal letters to Ernst Brod and/or his wife Charlotte. These objects and letters are now integrated into the exhibition.

Eighty years after his last visit to Erlauf at the end of 1937, Ernst F. Brod has thus been discovered by a “fourth generation” of young people who see themselves as defined by equality (and equal opportunities), which was also Ernst F. Brod’s ideal for the world. “Brod’s criticism of an unjust society remains a building block for the future” (Heidi Schatzl).

Heidi Schatzl, “Die Manuskripte des Ernst F. Brod” (The Manuscripts of Ernst F. Brod)
The artist’s book by Heidi Schatzl is a series of 15 booklets containing selected passages of Ernst F. Brod’s (1901–1978) autobiography and offers insight into private photo albums and archives. The book comes inside an archive box that also includes a booklet of scholarly essays, a conversation with Ernst F. Brod’s daughter, as well as a musical interpretation of Brod’s life by the Roman Britschgi Quartett on CD.

“Dear Ernst F. Brod, – eine Antwort” (“Dear Ernst F. Brod, – an Answer”)
A project with sixth-graders from class 6C of Melk High School, organized by Heidi Schatzl and the art educator Maria Theresia Moritz in collaboration with the teachers Angela Stadlmann, Michael Grill, and Silvia Zeller.

Class 6C:
Johanna Schaffarczik, Silvia Schraivogel and Sophia Cerny, Lea Hochholdinger and Marlene Fuchs, Anna Steinkellner and Jasmina Seyer, Marie Grabmann, Naomi Hinkelmann, Anna Weigl and Barbara Engelskirchner, Katja Reichör and Selina Enengl, Hannah Kloimüller and Paula Fischer, Nina Maier and Tessa Stix, Tobias Apfelbeck, Florian Bischof, Lukas Gruber, Sarah Romako and Magdalena Eckl, Katharina Falk, Anna-Lena Kerndler, Sophie Fischer


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