THE ARCHIVE OF THE JEWISH COMMUNITY VIENNA
first Jewish community organization of Vienna in modern times was
legally recognized in 1852 and has been known since then as:
Israelitische Kultusgemeinde (IKG) Wien (Jewish Community Vienna). The
first synagogue in Vienna, after the expulsion in 1670, was consecrated
in 1826. Archival holdings of the Viennese Jewish community have been
kept since 1816, the oldest documents date back to the 17th century.
During the Nazi years Vienna’s Jews faced terrible persecutions and
most of those, who were unable to escape, perished, but it seems the
archival holdings survived intact. In 1939, after the “Anschluss”,
registration of births, marriages and deaths was removed from the
religious institutions, including the IKG, and taken over by the
government in the form of civil registration.
RECORDS ON THE PREMISES OF THE IKG <http://www.ikg-wien.at/>
the birth, marriage and death (BMD) books of the Viennese Jewish
community (1784-1938), including indexes, and some registry books of
other Austrian Jewish communities (Baden, Eisenstadt, Hollabrunn, Horn,
Klosterneuburg, Lackenbach, Mattersburg, Mödling, Rechnitz, St.
Poelten, Stockerau-Korneuburg, Ybbs-Amstetten, Zwettl, the former
Viennese outskirts Floridsdorf, Fuenfhaus-Sechshaus, Grossenzersdorf,
Ottakring-Hernals, Waehring, and the Viennese Sephardic Community) are
presently at this location.
A duplicate set of the BMD books of
the Viennese Jewish community from the Vienna city archives was
microfilmed by the FHL (see below). For many years people from all over
the world have been visiting or writing to the Registry Office of the
IKG Vienna, where Ms. Heidrun Weiss was in charge. Since her retirement
a few years ago Mr. Wolf Erich Eckstein has taken over her position.
RECORDS AT THE CITY OF VIENNA ARCHIVES <http://www.wien.gv.at/kultur/archiv/>
is my understanding that according to the law the IKG Vienna had to
submit a duplicate set of BMD records 1826-1938 to municipal agencies
and these records are now located at the city of Vienna archives
(Wiener Stadt- und Landesarchiv). There are 540 volumes, 15.2 meters
long, which were microfilmed by the FHL (see below).
MICROFILMS AT THE FAMILY HISTORY LIBRARY (FHL) <http://www.familysearch.org>
the 1980s the FHL filmed the BMD records that were located in the city
of Vienna archives and about 130 microfilms have been available from
the FHL since then. On the FHL website go to: library catalog >
place search: Vienna > Jewish records > Matrikel: 1826-1943
view these films you have to contact the nearest branch of the FHL,
which you will find on their website. These records, which include some
indexes, cover Jewish BMD records of the Viennese Jewish community from
1826 to 1938.
In 2004 the FHL filmed the original BMD books and
additional books and records from the Registry Office of the IKG Vienna
as well as from the “Anlaufstelle” (see below) and there are about 570
IKG Vienna reels available. Among the films made in 2004 are more
detailed birth, death, burial, divorce, conversion, Sephardic and other
RECORDS AT THE CENTRAL ARCHIVE FOR THE HISTORY OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE (CAHJP) IN JERUSALEM
the 1950s the IKG Vienna transferred a large part of their archival
holdings to the CAHJP in Jerusalem, however the BMD books remained in
Vienna. The Jerusalem records have now been partly microfilmed by the
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (see USHMM below). The
microfilming project included most documents from the period 1933–1945.
It is suggested to contact the archives before trying to gain access to
RECORDS AT THE “ANLAUFSTELLE” IN VIENNA <http://www.restitution.or.at/>
organization, also known as The Holocaust Victims’ Information and
Support Center of the Jewish Community Vienna, is headed since 2003 by
Dr. Ingo Zechner. It was created by the IKG in 1999 to assist
Austrian Holocaust survivors and descendants with their restitution
In 2000 a large number of IKG documents, dating from the
Nazi period, was discovered in Vienna. The “Anlaufstelle” started an
archival project with the aim to reconstruct the Archive of the Jewish
Community Vienna. Comprehensive archival holdings stored in different
depots in Vienna were brought together, subjected to conservation
treatments, arranged, inventoried, entered into a database and
microfilmed. This work has not yet been completed. In 2007, at the
IAJGS conference in Salt Lake City, Dr. Zechner lectured on this
sensational discovery and the archival project.
The records at the
“Anlaufstelle” are not yet open to the public, since they do not have
the staff and facilities, however most of the Holocaust relevant
documents have now been microfilmed by the USHMM (see below) and some
of the older records by the FHL.
A new institution is now in the
planning stage, this is “The Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust
Studies” (VWI) <http://www.vwi.ac.at>, which is to open in 2012,
when all relevant records from the “Anlaufstelle” are to be transferred
to the VWI.
MICROFILMS AT THE UNITED STATES HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM (USHMM) IN WASHINGTON <http://www.ushmm.org/>
USHMM and the IKG Vienna have worked together since 2002 to
comprehensively microfilm the Holocaust-relevant records that exist in
Jerusalem and Vienna. Most of the Holocaust-relevant Jerusalem
component (period 1933-1945) has been reproduced (about half of the
entire material in Jerusalem) and 1430 reels have been transferred to
the USHMM’s archives. While 1158 of these reels are currently being
prepared for research access by the USHMM, 272 reels with emigration
questionnaires, filled in by Vienna Jews in 1938/39, have been
duplicated and are already accessible to research in Washington.
of the records from the “Anlaufstelle” in Vienna have also been
microfilmed by the Museum, and about 400 reels have been transferred to
the Museum’s archives, where they are now accessible. However, due to
the ongoing nature of the project in Vienna, no finished finding aid or
database exists yet for these films.
THE SPECIAL ARCHIVE IN MOSCOW <http://www.research.co.il/moscow.html>
archive whose official name is “Holdings of the Center for Preservation
of Historical - Documentary Collections” was established by the Soviet
authorities in 1946 to house archival holdings of foreign origin, which
were taken as booty from Nazi Germany. These included many German
records, but also large collections of non-German archives, which were
plundered by the Nazis throughout occupied Europe.
Among the records
in this archive there are quite a number from various Austrian Jewish
organizations and among them are also 281 files related to the IKG
Vienna. The CAHJP in Jerusalem has some information on these materials.
would like to thank Haddassa Assouline, Director of CAHJP, Dr. Ingo
Zechner, Director of the Anlaufstelle, Mr. Anatol Steck, Program
Officer, International Archival Programs Division USHMM and Mag. Wolf
Erich Eckstein, Archivist at the IKG, for all the help provided.
Henry Wellisch, Toronto