By Adin Mulic
Editor’s Note: Adin Mulic is an Austrian Holocaust Memorial Fellow at the Museum.
I was born and raised in Klagenfurt, Austria, close to the Italian and Slovenian border. Austria is one of the last countries in Europe with mandatory military service for male citizens. Most men choose to either join the military or do volunteer service at a local retirement home or the Red Cross. However there’s also a third option called Auslandsdienst (service abroad).
Auslandsdienst fellows can choose between international partners to work in different fields, such as the Holocaust Memorial Service, the Social Service, or Peace Service. I chose the Holocaust Memorial Service and was accepted into Austria’s prestigious “Austrian Service Abroad” program after a long selection process.
I started my 10-month fellowship last year in October at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust. I’m supporting the Collections & Exhibitions Department in research and translation. I’m also working for Visitor Services, which gives me a great opportunity to interact with our visitors and Holocaust survivors, as well as school groups that visit our museum. It is a great experience for me to speak about different experiences with people of different ages.
My interest in Jewish life and the Holocaust began when I was 14 years old. We started to discuss the Holocaust in school and I visited the Mauthausen concentration camp. Around this same time, I was exploring my Bosnian heritage. My parents had to flee from Bosnia in the 1990s because of the Bosnian genocide. Learning about two genocides that happened less than 50 years apart made me realize that people haven’t learned their lessons. Educating people about the Holocaust and how it happened is more important than ever.
I really appreciate the opportunities given by this service and I want to thank the wonderful Museum staff that make my stay here in New York very unique!