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Encyclopaedia Judaica

Jews in Vienna 04: Holocaust period 1938-1945

Nazi rule - camps - destructions - victims - plundering - confiscations - emigration

Encyclopaedia
              Judaica: Vienna, vol.16, col.129: Jews washing pavements
              in 1938: Vienna Jews forced by the Nazis to wash the
              streets, March 1938. Courtesy Yad Vashem Archives,
              Jerusalem.
Encyclopaedia Judaica: Vienna, vol.16, col.129: Jews washing pavements in 1938: Vienna Jews forced
by the Nazis to wash the streets, March 1938. Courtesy Yad Vashem Archives, Jerusalem.

from: Vienna; In: Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971, vol. 16

presented by Michael Palomino (2007)

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[Nazi rule - concentration camps - cleaning pavements - 42 synagogues destroyed - lethal victims - arrests - plundered shops and flats - confiscations]

The Holocaust Period. The experience and practice in dealing with the Jews, gained in Germany since 1933, were utilized by the Nazis when they occupied Vienna in March 1938 with great harshness and brutality. In less than one year they introduced all the discriminatory laws, backed by ruthless terror and by mass arrests (usually of economic leaders and intellectuals, who were detained in special camps or sent to Dachau). These measures were accompanied by unspeakable atrocities. Vienna's chief rabbi, Dr. Israel Taglicht, who was more than 75 years old, was among those who were forced to clean with their bare hands the pavements of main streets. The president of the community, Desider Friedmann, the vice-president, Robert *Stricker, and the director, Josef Loewenherz, as well as the president of the Zionist organization, Oskar Gruenbaum, were immediately arrested. The historian of the Zionist movement, Adolf Boehm became insane, dying in prison shortly afterward. During Kristallnacht (November 9-10, 1938), 42 synagogues were destroyed, hundreds of people perished, and thousands were arrested; shops and flats were plundered by the S.A. and the Hitler Youth, subsequently being confiscated.

[[This is the outburst of all the frustration which has accumulated in German Austria from 1871 to 1938]].

Nonetheless, the organization of immigration and the transfer of property necessitated the release of some Jewish leaders who had to form the Aeltestenrat [["Council of Jewish Elders"]]. Aryanization was practiced by the forced sale and liquidation of thousands of (col. 127)

enterprises; apartments had to be evacuated.

[Organized forced emigration: figures - deportations]

Moreover, for the first time, forced emigration (legal and "illegal") was systematically organized by Eichmann's Zentralstelle fuer juedische Auswanderung [[Central office for Jewish emigration]]. Consequently, of Vienna's 166,000 Jews (approximately 10% of the city's population) about 100,000 emigrated before the war; about 18,000 or them were later caught in other European countries; an additional 18,500 succeeded in getting out before the general ban on emigration in the fall of 1941.

With the outbreak of war deportation of Austrian Jews increased, whereas previously mainly those of Polish and Czech nationality had been expelled. The first transports were sent to the notorious Nisko, in the Lublin district (October 1939). The last mass transport left in September 1942; it included many prominent people and Jewish dignitaries, who were sent to Theresienstadt, from where later they were mostly deported to Auschwitz [[and into the tunnel systems or trench digging]]. In November 1942 the Jewish community of Vienna was officially dissolved. The "Council of Jewish Elders", with Loewenherz at its head, continued to exist. About 800 Vienese Jews succeeded in remaining underground.

For further details and bibliography, see *Austria, Holocaust.

[[According to the racist Nazi law also non-Aryans counted as Jews (half Jews, quarter Jews, and 3/4 Jews), also see in the book of Yehuda Bauer: American Joint Distribution Committee:
-- 185,246 counted Jews in Austria
-- annexation and the riots and Palestine office
-- at least 150,000 non Aryans (half Jews, quarter Jews, and 3/4 Jews)
-- "US" organizations can only watch ].

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Sources
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Vienna,
                            vol. 16, col. 122
vergrössernEncyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Vienna, vol. 16, col. 122
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Vienna,
                            vol. 16, col. 123-124
vergrössernEncyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Vienna, vol. 16, col. 123-124
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Vienna,
                            vol. 16, col. 125-126
vergrössernEncyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Vienna, vol. 16, col. 125-126
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Vienna,
                            vol. 16, col. 127-128
vergrössernEncyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Vienna, vol. 16, col. 127-128
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Vienna,
                            vol. 16, col. 129-130
vergrössernEncyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Vienna, vol. 16, col. 129-130
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Vienna,
                            vol. 16, col. 131-132
vergrössernEncyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Vienna, vol. 16, col. 131-132


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