Austrian State Archives (Österreichisches Staatsarchiv)
The Austrian State Archives contain several departments: the Archive of the Republic (Archiv der Republik), the General Administration Archive (Allgemeines Verwaltungsarchiv), the War Archive (Kriegsarchiv), the Finance and Aulic Chamber Archives (Finanz- und Hofkammer Archiv), the Family, Court and State Archive (Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv), and a Library.
Archive of the Republic (Archiv der
Created as a separate entity within the Austrian State Archives in 1984, the Archive of the Republic holds archival materials from 1918 onwards. It collects, evaluates, secures and makes accessible the records of the central administrative bodies of the Austrian Federal Government. The Archive of the Republic is divided into 10 departments of which departments 4 and 6 hold materials particularly relevant for research on looted cultural property.
Department 4 (Internal Affairs)
Bürckel Collection : includes records on the administration of the 'Reich Gau' of Vienna during the Nazi period, including material on the creation of the Property Registration Office (Vermögensverkehrsstelle). There is a finding aid.
Records of the Commissioner of Suspensions (Stillhaltekommissar) : this body was responsible for the management of dissolved associations and their seized property during the Nazi period. All associations were brought into line; many were dissolved and/or integrated into larger organisations. The records are ordered by type of organisation, name and location.
Gauakten: political evaluation of individuals in Vienna
An overview of the records in this department is available online.
Department 6 (Finances)
Records of the Property Registration Office (Vermögensverkehrsstelle) in Vienna: On the basis of a decree of 26 April 1938 enforced in June 1938, persons considered 'Jewish' under the racist Nuremberg Laws were required to register their property over RM 5,000 at the Property Registration Office (Vermögensverkehrsstelle) , an authority created on 18 May 1938.
The asset registrations formed the basis of later confiscations. They are an important resource for examining the processes of confiscation. According to a report by archivist Hubert Steiner from 1997, the Vermögensverkehrsstelle records in the Archive of the Republic consist of "1,586 boxes that have been evaluated and can particularly serve for personal and genealogical research".
The records are organised by department:
Because the property registrations were originally ordered by their submittal date, archivist Dr. Hubert Steiner created a finding aid for the collection, which lists the names of the persons who registered their property. The list was published in Hubert Steiner & Christian Kucsera's Recht als Unrecht: Quellen zur wirtschaftlichen Entrechtung der Wiener Juden durch die NS-Vermögensverkehrsstelle. Teil 1: Privatvermögen-Personenverzeichnis (Vienna 1993). The names are also included in the Avotaynu Online Database of Unclaimed Swiss Bank Accounts and other Holocaust-Era Assets (they are marked with an 'A').
Queries can be sent to the archive by mail, e-mail or fax. They will check whether the person you are looking for registered their property with the Property Registration Office. Copies of these documents can then be obtained or the original consulted at the archive. For a successful search you should ideally know the first and last names(s) and date of birth of the person you are looking for. Property declarations were made by province, and the Austrian State Archives only has records for Vienna. Persons living in other parts of Austria and/or any second residences in districts other than Vienna will have to be searched for in the relevant provincial archives: Lower Austria, Upper Austria, Styria, Salzburg, Tyrol, Vorarlberg, Burgenland, Carinthia.
The records on business liquidators have not yet been evaluated although they can be consulted at the archives. No finding aid is currently available or planned by the archive.
Hilfsfonds Records : records in this collection contain information on persons who applied at the Republic of Austria for victim support. The collection consists of c. 3,800 boxes and can be searched via a card index. However, access restrictions apply: personal records can only be accessed if you can provide evidence that the person is already deceased, that you are a direct relative or if you can supply written confirmation from the family authorising you to view these documents.
Records of the Provincial Finance Office (Finanzlandesdirektion) : these include records of Viennese restitution cases under the Austrian Restitution Laws. Restitution cases were filed in the district of the defendant. The records of cases in other regions of Austria can usually be found in the relevant provincial archives (see above).
At the Austrian State Archives, other relevant documents may also be found in the records of other institutions involved in the restitution process, such as the State Office/ Federal Ministry (from 1946) for Property Securing and Economic Planning (Staatsamt, bzw. Bundesministerium für Vermögenssicherung und Wirtschaftsplanung) and its follow-up institution at the Department of Property Securing at the Federal Ministry for Finance (Bundesministerium für Finanzen, Sektion Vermögenssicherung)
A published inventory is available for the collection of the Archive of the Republic: Manfred Fink, 'Das Archiv der Republik und seine Bestände. Teil 1: Das Archivgut der 1. Republik und aus der Zeit von 1938 bis 1945', Mitteilungen des Österreichischen Staatsarchivs, Inventar 2 (Vienna 1996).
An overview of the records in this department is available online.
War Archive (Kriegsarchiv)
This archive holds more than 240,000 archival items, more than 416, 000 maps and c. 300,000 photographs. The archive includes records useful for genealogical research, such as the personnel records of members of the Imperial Armed Forces from those regions in the Austro-Hungarian Empire that form Austria today. The files for regions which are today part of Hungary and the Czech Republic are now located in the relevant archives in Budapest and Prague. To search for ordinary soldiers, you need to know their date of entry into the armed forces and their regiment. Officers were listed separately on "Qualifikationslisten" which are ordered by name. Although the files mainly contain details of an individual's military career, other information may occasionally also be picked up from these records, such as date/place of birth, marital status and whether children were born.
An online overview of the holdings of the War archive is available.
On their website, the Austrian State Archives also provide a helpful list of all archives in Austria with contact details (Provincial, Municipal, Ecclesiastical, Private, University and Other Archives).
Austrian State Archives
Tel: +43 (0)1 795 40 504
Fax: +43 (0)1 795 40 109
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (Archive of the Republic)
email@example.com (War Archive)
Archive of the Republic
Dr. Rudolf Jerabek (Dept. 04 - Internal Affairs)
Dr. Hubertus Steiner (Records of the Property Registration Office, Dept. 06 - Finances)
Visitor Information and Opening Hours www.oesta.gv.at/engdiv/access.htm
Tina Walzer & Stephan Templ, Unser Wien: "Arisierung" auf Österreichisch (Berlin: Aufbau-Verlag, 2001), pp. 229-30.
Skyte, Schoenberg. Wenzerul, A Guide to Jewish Genealogy in Germany & Austria (The Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain, 2001), pp. 55-6.
Dr. Hubert Steiner, 'Die Akten der NS-Vermögensverkehrsstelle und die Wiedergutmachungs-akten im österreichischen Staatsarchiv-Archiv der Republik sowie deren wissenschaftlichen Aufarbeitung: Die Akten der nationalsozialistischen Vermögensverkehrsstelle im Archiv der Republik', <http://www.gruene.at/ns/steiner.doc?PHPSESSID= bf8e9a4a89173fd43ccd81d17b3794b7</A>>, accessed 28 April 2003.
<http://www.ikg-wien.at/static/etis/unter/html/se/r_recher.htm >, accessed 28 April 2003.
<http://www.nationalfonds.org/aef/english/rechRech.htm >, accessed 28 April 2003.