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The Jeff Malka Sephardic Collection

Births Register for the Turkish Community in Vienna
1845-1938

According to article #1 of the Passarowitz Peace Treaty signed between Charles VI, the Austrian Emperor and the Ottoman Sultan Ahmed Khan in 1718, free sojourn was granted to the respective subjects of the two countries. This is how Turkish Jews began to enjoy unrestricted movement in Austria. This regulation was again confirmed in the Peace Treaty of Belgrade in 1739. Moses Lopez Pereira, also know as Baron Diego Pereira D'Aguilar, (Portugal 1699 - London, August 10 1759), held the tobacco monopoly in Austria from 1725 till 1747. Baron of the Holy Roman Empire, d?Aguilar enjoyed the greatest freedom of belief, and was the founder of the Spanish or Turko-Jewish community in Vienna. He succeeded in obtaining many concessions for the relief of his oppressed fellow worshippers. The community was called ?Turkish? because most of its members were indeed from Turkey. Its origins have to be placed in the years 1740-1750, when the Sephardim asked for a synagogue. The earliest Sephardic Jews living in Vienna had the following surnames: Camondo, Nissim, Eskenasy, Amar, De Mayo, Benveniste etc.

On June 17, 1778 the Austrian authorities published a document fixing the statutes- ?Punkten? - of the Sephardic Community in Vienna. In Ladino they were known as ?Los Puntos?. As a result of that pressure, the Austrian authorities claimed the Turkish Jews to register birth, marriages and death at the Austrian office. On March 13, 1845 the president of the Turkish community signed an agreement although the community still wanted to live apart and it was only in 1909 that the Turkish Community officially became a part of the Jewish Community of Vienna.

The terrible end began with the "Anschluss" (Annexation of Austria to Nazi Germany) and the Pogrom of March 12, 1938. The terror practiced by the Gestapo, the SS, etc., but also the harassment from local Nazis and their supporters, was intended to accelerate the expulsion of the Jews. During the Kristallnacht (The Night of Broken Glass) that occurred on November 9-10, 1938, like many other synagogues, the Turkish synagogue was completely destroyed - the building and all the books. Except for those who could escape abroad, the great majority of the Austrian Jewry including the Vienna Turkish Community, was sent to its death in Nazi concentration camps.

The Family History Library (FHL) has recently added more microfilms to their Vienna collection of Jewish records. Among them is a microfilm entitled Turkische Israelitengemeinde ? The Turkish Jewish Community. In Vienna the Sephardim were referred to as the "Turkish Jews". The original records are still with the Jewish community of Vienna.

The FHL microfilm contains the birth and marriage records of the Turkish Vienna community for the years 1845-1938. These registers have been completely indexed in this database. They include nearly 10,000 individuals: the newborns, their parents (including the maiden name of the mothers), the midwives, the mohalim and sometimes the readable signature of a witness, and in the marriage register: the grooms, the brides and their both parents.

During this period .there an average of 17 weddings per year with much lower numbers during the years of WW I. Beginning from 1934 the number of weddings diminished while in 1938 only two were recorded.

A part of the recorded persons are Ashkenazim. Half of the weddings are "mixed" Sephardic-Ashkenazi especially after 1900. Still the number of couples of both Sephardic brides and grooms covers a third of the weddings.

The search engine not allowing any diatrical sign, certain German names including an umlaut on the letters o or u, will not appear. The result will be for instance Grunfeld or Frolich typed with regular u and o in each name.

Acknowledgements

We acknowledge the tremendous contributions and lifelong dedication of Mathilde Tagger, z"l who made this index available. For many years, and right until her untimely death, Mathilde Tagger was a very close friend and collaborator with Jeff Malka. Together they worked to promote Sephardic genealogy research and educate the public about its enormous potential. Mathilde compiled this information based upon the original source material: Klarsfeld, Serge. Mémorial de la Déportation des Juifs de France. Paris, 1978.

In addition, we express our grateful appreciation to Dr. Jeff Malka for his monumental ongoing effort to collect and make accessible Sephardic genealogical information, and for his generosity in contributing his extraordinarily valuable collection to JewishGen.

Search the Database

This database can be searched by via the JewishGen Austria-Czech Database, the JewishGen Sephardic Collection, or the JewishGen Jeff Malka Collection


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