VIENNA–An unveiling ceremony was held on Oct. 9 at Vienna’s Shiller Square for a memorial dedicated to author of Forty Days of Mousa Dagh Franz Werfel–under the auspices of Armenian foreign minister Vartan Oskanian and the mayor of Vienna.
The monument was made possible through efforts of the chairman of Austria-Armenian Friendship Society architect Razmig Tamrazian and sculptor Ohan Petrossian and engineer oland Martirossian–who created the work in Armenia.
Armenia’s European diplomatic corps and a delegation accompanying Oskanian which included Armenia’s deputy economy minister Armen Petrossian attended the ceremony. A delegation representing the Hungarian-Armenian community as well as foreign diplomatic representatives also attended the ceremony alongside Austrian-Armenian community members.
Tamrazian opened the ceremony–and in German welcomed all the officials and community members to the gathering. In his remarks–he thanked all organizations–institutions and individuals that supported this important project.
An honorary member of the Austria-Armenian Friendship Society and the executive editor of the Austrian National Radio-Television Rose Marie Isop talked about Werfel’s Forty Days of Mousa Dagh–stressing that with his work–the author created a permanent reminder and a memorial to the Armenian people’s tragedies and heroic triumphs.
"And today–in appreciation and gratitude the Armenian people erect a memorial in Werfel’s honor," stated Isop.
Vienna Mayor Dr. Bernhardt George pointed to Austrian-Armenian cooperation and friendship–and recalled the days when the people of Austria helped assist the victims of the 1988 earthquake in Armenia.
In his remarks–foreign minister Oskanian discussed the hardship and tragedy of the Armenian Genocide–and emphasized the importance of the memorial which serves as sign of the friendship between Austrians and Armenia’s. He said the monument would also serve as a means to strengthen that friendship.
Oskanian joined Dr. George in the unveiling of the memorial monument–following which famous Austrian actor from the National Theater Company Marcus Heinrich read an excerpt from Forty Days of Mousa Dagh which pertained to another friend of Armenia’s Johannes Lepsius’ meeting with Enver Pasha.
Following the official unveiling ceremony a reception was held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Vienna.