© Heidi Schatzl

"Erinnerungsspeicher" Erlauf
Gemeindeamt, 1. Stock
Melker Straße 1
3253 Erlauf

MO-MI, FR: 08.00-12.00 Uhr
DO: 07.00-12.00, 14.00-18.00 Uhr
Eintritt frei

© Heidi Schatzl

In a 2000-page unpublished autobiography, the emigrant Ernst f. Brod (1901-1978) tells the story of the village of Erlauf and that of Austria before and during National Socialism. In 2017, the artist Heidi Schatzl brought excerpts form the manuscript as temporary wall reliefs to the Museum ERLAUF ERINNERT, from where they were transferred to the Erlauf municipal office in 2019 as a permanent room installation.

Ernst F. Brod was Jewish Social Democrat. As such, he left Austria as early as 1934. He went to Paris in 1938 to Turkey and from there to the USA, where he lived until his death. In the last decade of his life, Brod wrote down his life story, which he embedded as an attentive chronicler in the political an history events of his time. Erlauf and its inhabitants play a central role in the manuscript: Brod tells of peasant life, of the expropriation, deportation and murder of his family, but also of the solidarity he learned. On the one hand, he tried to understand "Austria´s path to lawlessness" (Ernst F. Brod), on the other tormented by the question of why he, if he saw everythin coming, could not move his family to emigrate.

© Heidi Schatzl
© Heidi Schatzl

Heid Schatzl, who works at the interface of space, time and cultural-historical research in her artistic projects, made Brod´s ambivalent relationship with his homeland and the memories buried after the war the starting poing of her work and explained the life story of Brod´s "small" autobigraphical relationsships with the "large" historical memory, a quasi outsourced collective memory of the place. For this purpose she precessed selected text pages from the manuscript and images from private Erlaufer photo albums such as archives to room-filling wall reliefs, which literally immerse the visitors in Brod´s story. With four freestanding columns, the artist refers to Brod´s political thinking and his contribution to building modernity as a civil engineer with Clemens Holzmeister in Turkey. The rexessed windows overlook the former Gasthaus Teufl, where his brother Georg Brod was imprisoned until he agreed to his "Aryanization" of his business.

Ernst Brod´s son John gave the manuscript a title after the death of his father: "The Examined Life". Based on the Greek philosopher Socrates, who described an "unchecked life" as "not worth living", he refers to his father´s tireless argument with the truth.

"In Brod´s truth is also that of Erlauf, of Austria and of the world, we see them as components of a brigde builder," said Heidi Schatzl.

In the artist´s book "Die Manuskripte des Ernst F. Brod", Heidi Schatzl has compiled 15 excerpts of the manuscript by Ernst F. Brod with scientific contributions and a conversation with Brod´s daughter in a kind of archive box. The book gives an insight into private photo albums such as archives and contains a musical interpretation of Brod´s life story by the Roman Britschgi Quartet on CD.
Heidi Schatzl, Die Manuskripte des Ernst F. Brod, edited by Katharina Blaas-Pratscher and Katrina Petter.
With contributions by Charlotte E. El Shabrawy, Cornelia Offergeld, Katharina Prager, Andreas Suttner and the enclosed CD of the Roman Britschgi Quartett, 2018 was published by the publisher Mandelbaum. Available at the Museum ERLAUF ERINNERT and in the municipal office Erlauf.

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