Dollfuß Museum: Project Failure | DiePresse.com

Dollfuß's heirs and the mayor of Texingtal overcame plans for a “constructive liquidation” of the controversial museum.

A surprising new twist in the story of the controversial museum about dictator Engelbert Tollfuss: The “constructive liquidation” of the museum planned by historians will not take place. Dollfuß's heirs paid back their loan and asked the mayor of Dexingtal – which runs the municipal museum in Dollfuß's birthplace – to hand them over to the Lower Austrian State Museum. Mayer did just that – while giving most of the other exhibits to the state. This means that the project designed by the “MERKwürd” association can no longer be carried out, according to the association's statement.

Discussions about the museum began two years ago when Gehard Garner, the former mayor of the Texingtal community, became interior minister. Historians have harshly criticized the museum: in fact, it is not a museum at all, but a pilgrimage for the followers of Dollfuß, who abolished democracy in Austria in 1933 and shot down workers' homes a year later.

At that time, Garner announced a new concept for the museum, and the municipality commissioned the association MERKwür from Krems to do it. However, it soon became clear to a group of prominent historians: a redesign of the museum was not possible. Instead, they advocated a “creative solution”: Museum objects should be scientifically processed and sent to other museums within a five-year period. The lease on the dilapidated museum building will also expire in five years. The association writes that this deliberate public re-evaluation of history can no longer happen. Whether and in what form the project's curatorial team can further contribute to the historical analysis of this topic is still being debated.

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