In August 2018, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) welcomed its first female memorial servant from Austria, Caroline Schenk, for a yearlong voluntary remembrance service. Caroline was born in Graz and has spent her past year supporting the invaluable remembrance work of the USHMM with the Austrian memorial service – Gedenkdienst.
The Austrian memorial service, which was first installed in 1991, is dedicated to upholding the remembrance of the victims of National Socialism across the globe. Memorial servants have been sent to more than 20 different countries and have contributed to the important work at Holocaust-Memorials, museums, and research institutes. “What drew me to this organization was their main purpose of remembering the Holocaust and contributing to our understanding of why and how it could have happened”, Caroline explains.
One of her main duties with the Senior Historian Department at USHMM is translating German documents. For her current project, she is translating letters from a Viennese family in which she recognizes street names and buildings referred to by the authors, noting that “this is simply incredible because this adds such a personal note to the greater history.” Read more about Caroline’s time at USHMM here.
Upon her return to Austria, Caroline will continue to support the work of Gedenkdienst, emphasizing that “still not enough people know about its mission and it’s also a unique opportunity to go abroad and do something meaningful.”
Thank you for your service, Caroline!
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