Today we took the map with all the known addresses and headed for where we had been yesterday without realising: Zieglergasse and Kirchengasse off Mariahilferstrasse, the main shopping street in Vienna. We had been sent there by tourist information to find an adapter not knowing 4 Zieglergasse, where Fred, Rose and Erika lived, was on the next corner tot the electrical superstore. Again we found an apartment block but this time well maintained and hosting a small electrical store and wonderful tea and chocolate shop (Tee & Geschenke) on the ground floor.
We spent some time sampling the chocolates before walking a few blocks East to find 26 Kirchengasse near the top of the road by Siebenstern Platz. This was an early address for Emmanuel and Rosa Szilagyi although we wondered if this was after Lichtensteinstrasse rather than before. The building had lost its suspected features, instead bleak and somber with a dark, muddy render coating and graffiti on the rotten and damaged front door. It was perhaps the most depressing building on the street saved by the beauty of the church giving the street its identity.
We quickly found the bustle of Mariahilferstrasse once more before rejoining the U3 line for Ottakring in the Sixteenth District and 155 Thaliastraße, the home where my grandma Rose grew up.
Again an apartment block in the suburbs but very much out of town. Despite the trams and buses this had a small town feel, the end of the line and a village suburb.
Only the decoration of the iron grille over the door and the modern art cum deco woman's face gave any early twentieth century clues to the entrance.
Jumping the tram we went in search of 48 Arltgasse where Opa (Ruldolph Auspitz) grew up. The even numbers ran out at No. 42 giving way to modern buildings forming Schuhmeier Platz suggesting redevelopment mid twentieth century.
We then headed by foot to 58 Gschwandnergasse, Oma's (Flora Auspitz) childhood home. A plaque on the wall of this modern counterpart references the war years and later rebuilding (but I will need the help of my German speaking dad for a translation). Found on the north end of the road on the corner of Rotzergasse, this building felt on the fringe of the city.
It was striking, both on the map and on the ground how Rose came from the quieter, western side of the city with Fred and family having addresses nearer town (Kichengasse and Zieglergasse in the Seventh District or Lichtensteinstrasse to the north of the city). Their marriage in the Hebertempel, Hubergasse and last address in Gaullachergasse, meant they met and lived in the middle of these two worlds.
We knew from the Jewish Museum that the synagogue was gone, but the atmosphere and the extent of brutal Sixties intervention as you turn the corner into Gaullachergasse was stark. In a real sense the Jewish population had made a gap for the next wave of immigrants.
And No. 33 Gaullachergasse was indeed stark. A dirty grey rendered concrete infill with a flat featureless facade and signs of structural cracking. There was no hint of anything former, just the commemorative plaque dating the war years and the rebuild between 1964-1966. To the rear, lock up garages with some open balconies, some windowed-in.
Not returning, as hard as it must have been for Fred and Rose, made sense.