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Die Wiener Flaktürme im Spiegel österreichischer Erinnerungskultur
2nd revised edition Vienna 2015
116 pp., num. colour and b/w ills. in text, 21,5 x 24 cm, hardcover
The main subject matter of this theoretical study focuses on the architecture of the flak-towers in Vienna, which were built by the national-socialist regime between 1942 and 1945 for the purpose of defence and as air-raid shelters.
Contrary to the flak-towers in Berlin and Hamburg, which were largely dismantled after the war, no further debates took place concerning the 6 Viennese flak-towers, apart from a few not deeply thought about intentions to recycle the building material. Although the suggestions to reuse these useless bunkers point to some sort of interest, they also are another sign for the difficulties one has in dealing with such relicts dating of the NS-era.
Rather than perceiving them as an ugly source of irritation or spectacular concrete monoliths, the publication aims at defining the present significance of the flak-towers in connection with their uniqueness as authentic and striking relicts of NS-architecture in Vienna together with their intrinsic memories and tasks.
The author has pursued the many-sided history of the flak-towers by including topics concerning the "total war" ("totaler Krieg") and the deployment of forced-labour as well as aesthetic questions and the role of architects who built during the war. The work also studies the significance of the flak-towers among Vienna’s monuments since 1945. If the flak-towers, which are not reused, were to carry the function of monuments there would be a need to further consider what they are to be primarily associated with. Their architectural significance as such is overrated.