Marienthal-Grammatneusiedl is a small town 30 km south-east from Vienna, the capital of Austria.
Born in Vienna I was aware of the "Marienthal Report" - "Die Arbeitslosen von Marienthal. Ein soziographischer Versuch" - a unique research study performed on site in 1933 in the midst of the Great Depression.
Preparing an onsite visit of Marienthal on September 3rd, 2013 I read this book very carefully.
From this study people learn and understand the problems and consequences of mass unemployment at a time without any social support infrastructure.
In the year of 1933 478 families were registered in Marienthal comprising 1486 inhabitants - 712 men, 774 women of whom 318 were younger than 14 years of age.
Readers of the study learn how they struggled for survival, day in, day out: 16% kept a strong will and did not give up, 48% gave up, 11% became desperate and 25% fell into apathy.
Daily time and motion studies explain how they "lived".
The Marienthal Research Study is one of the most famous and important studies of its time.
For me it is of the highest credibility which I would not write about the Hawthorne Study under the control of Elton Mayo.
After reading the Marienthal study any reader with a Minimum level of empathy will understand that unemployment should be avoided whenever possible. High unemployment rates are cancer for the society at large.
Corporations and companies of all sizes need to understand their responsibilities for employment.
During election campaigns politicians like to claim their role in creating jobs and employment. Most of the time government, politicians and public policy makers contribute more to unemployment than to employment.
Voters should always be aware whom they trust and whom they vote.
Today every visitor of Vienna, an excellently administered city in Europe, should make a trip to Marienthal-Grammatneusiedl where he can visit a tiny Museum with outstanding content and overview of this place and the unemployment story of 1933, the Great Depression, which is history today, but history alive - see unemployment rates in some EU countries!
We must always be alerted to engage in efforts for a free, democratic and healthy society where unemployment is the cancer destroying our well- being.
Visitors of Marienthal should and can also visit some original houses of Marienthal in 1933 (originally the homes of the workers - with their families - in the manufacturing plant nourishing the inhabitants) saved from destruction and renovated by the architect Josef Hums with the help of his wife Wilma Hums, both living in Grammatneusiedl.
Mr. Hums, a graduated engineer, made all necessary efforts to get the public funding for the renovation of an ensemble of houses for people needing a home and shelter rented by the local community.
Readers of the research study and visitors of the place today get a unique insight and impression about unemployment in the 193s, the importance of employment, and how social responsibility can be exercised.