Fotoeins Friday in Vienna Old Town: O5
On the exterior wall of St. Stephan’s Cathedral next to the Riesentor/Westportal (giant west gate) is the easily missed and oft-ignored memorial to Austrian resistance in World War 2. A blackened stone block with the barely visible carved “O5” appears on the wall to the right of the Westportal (facing into the church). After Austria’s annexation by the Nazis, the country name was changed from “Österreich” to “Ostmark” and to “Donau- und Alpenreichsgaue” to subsume the once independent nation. The Austrian resistance movement consisted of people who were members of banned and forbidden political parties. Placed on various buildings around the capital city and beyond, “O5” represented “Ö” for Österreich as overt sign of resistance. The capitalized O-umlaut is spelled out as O-E, and E is the fifth letter of the alphabet. Anyone caught making the sign or associated with the group was put to death.
As present-day memorial, the block itself is protected behind a transparent plexiglass shield. Set into the pavement immediately below is a memorial plaque whose inscription translates as: “O5 was the secret symbol of the Austrian resistance against the National Socialist horror regime 1938-1945. This memorial was created in memory of the murdered resistance fighters of the Austrian resistance movement. Installation conducted by President Professor Norbert Macheiner on 5 October 2000. AEIOU: ‘Allen ernstes ist Oesterreich unersetzlich‘ (In all seriousness, Austria is irreplaceable)%.”
St. Stephan’s Cathedral is located within the city’s Old Town which UNESCO inscribed as World Heritage Site in 2001.
Location: Domkirche St. Stephan. U-Bahn U1 or U3, Stephansplatz.
• Stadt Wien: Widerstandszeichen O5, Gedenktafel Widerstandsgruppe O5.
• Republik Österreich Parlament: Demokratie Webstatt.
• Historical Marker Database (English).
% AEIOU is likely the 15th-century Habsburg motto for “Austria rules the world” (Austriae est imperare orbi universo); there are many interpretations.
I made the photo above on 18 May 2018 with a Fujifilm X70 fixed-lens prime and the following settings: 1/250-sec, f/5, ISO2000, and 18.5mm focal length (28mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-fX2.