The following information has been generously collated and shared by Daniela Torch and is correct at the date of publication (JUL 2016). If you find any errors, broken links or information that is no longer current please contact the AJGS webmaster.
PLEASE NOTE: Links to external websites will open them in a new window.
JEWISH COMMUNITY (IKG)
Birth, marriage and death records of the Jewish Community – from 1826 to 1938, are available for public and private research. After 1938 all vital records are held by the Vienna City Archives. (More below).
Issue of certificates for public and private purposes (there is a fee).
Response to verbal and written inquiries, partially in cooperation with the supervisory board of the cemetery and the library of the Jewish Museum.
Israelitische Kultusgemeinde Wien
A-1010 Vienna, Austria
Monday – Thursday: 9.00 am – 2.00 pm.
Friday: 9.00 am -1.00 pm.
For security reasons make an appointment in advance. Remember to take your passport or you won’t get in through the stringent security at the front door.
The IKG website has a good link to an online database for the large Jewish cemetery at the Zentralfriedhof in Simmering. On this database you can find online entries for other Jewish cemeteries in Austria e.g. Klosterneuberg, Stockerau and about 20 others.
There is also a list of cemeteries with hours for visiting and description of each cemetery.
The cemetery link is found on the IKG website under the heading of “Religion and Kosher”. If you click on that icon it takes you to a drop down menu which includes cemeteries. You then have to double click on “cemeteries” and you will see in that drop down menu “database query of cemeteries”. It gives you access to more than 20 Austrian Jewish cemetery records. Make sure you tick the box that says “show record for deceased where date of deceased and date of funeral does not exist”.
Note also that if you click on the grave number you may find that someone else has been buried in the same grave. Sometimes husbands and wives and even children were buried together this way.
Sometimes it is possible to obtain copies of original burial records from the cemetery itself as well as details of burials at the IKG. There is an office at the Fourth Gate of the Zentralfriedhof where some records are kept. You can write and ask if they have any paperwork for your relative buried there. You can also arrange for repairs of the grave through this office. There is a stone mason on site who does a lot of work for the Jewish community. His company is called Schreiber Steinmetzbetrieb.
Contact: 1110 Wien
Simmeringer Hauptstrasse 244
The mailing address for the Jewish Cemetery at the Zentralfriedhof is:
Zentralfriedhof 4. Tor
Simmeringer Hauptstraße 224
A-1110 Vienna, Austria.
If you want to visit an actual grave make sure you check the opening times of the cemetery and also which gate the grave is visited from. The older Jewish part of the Zentralfriedhof is found via Gate 1 and the Fourth Gate is where the later burials took place and are still happening. Note the Jewish community only manages the new section not the old one. It’s easy to get there on the tram or the train or you can drive.
If you cannot get to Vienna you could be lucky and find a photograph of the grave you are looking for if you register with the website Grave Pictures, a site where thousands of graves in Austrian Jewish cemeteries have been photographed by volunteers. Registration is free. This site is mainly in German but there is some English too.
More information about cemeteries can be found in the later section on online resources.
This Jewish Museum in Vienna claims to be the first Jewish museum in the world – www.jmw.at/en (English version). It has excellent exhibitions in two locations Palais Eskeles and Museum Judenplatz which can be most informative and useful for researchers. If you are going to Vienna both sites are definitely worth visiting. They have a very good bookshop.
Museum Palais Eskers
Dorotheergasse 11, A-1010 Wien,
Sunday to Friday 10 am – 6 pm.
Budenplatz 8, A-1010 Wien,
Judenplatz is the site of the first ghetto. There are archeological remains of the original site which are worth seeing.
Hours: Sunday to Thursday 10 am – 6 pm, Friday 10 am – 2 pm.
Library: The library is open Monday to Thursday 10 am – 4 pm.
Archive: The archive is open to visitors by prior appointment.
The US Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) has been digitising a lot of the Vienna Jewish Museum’s records and so you have to ask in Washington about them.
CITY OF VIENNA
Website for City archives section on family history (in English): https://www.wien.gv.at/english/history/archives/ancestors.html
The City of Vienna archives are found in the Gasometer building in the Eleventh District of Simmering. It’s easy to get there on the train. They have a very well set up reading room for the public where you can work and also order records. No advance arrangements are necessary.
To get to the Gasometer take the U3 line from Mitte. It’s the fifth stop. The archives are at the farthest Gasometer building so you have to walk a fair way through the shops and cafes to find it. And take the escalator to the top floor. If you are in Vienna you can personally search in these archives. The staff is very helpful and I found them to be friendly and co-operative. Take your passport for ID.
Note that Vienna is both a city and one of the States in the Federal Republic so they have archival documents relating to both City and State.
To find an address of your family member you can ask in the City Archives for a Meldezettel, [literally “a registration notice”]. The Meldezettel records are most helpful. All residents of the city had to register with the authorities where they lived and these records are held by the Vienna City Archives at the Gasometer.
Contact: Magistrat der Stadt Wien
Wiener Stadt- und Landesarchiv
Gasometer D, Wien 11, Guglgasse 14
postal address: Rathaus, A-1082 Vienna
Email: POST@m08.magwien.gv.at?Website: www.wien.gv.at/kultur/archiv/ (in German)
You can send the archives your relatives’ names and if you have it, the date of birth and place of birth and they will search their extensive records to find where your relative lived and whom with. The record will also have occupation and the names and details of other people living in the same apartment.
You can write a letter or send an email or ask in person at the Gasometer. It’s OK to write in English.
The City of Vienna archives holds what we would call Death Certificates (from 1648 to 1938) and Wills. The department that deals with these documents is the Magistratsabteilung 8. If you go to the archives you can personally order these records a day ahead and view and copy material from the files. If you cannot visit you can write or email the MA8 department and they will advise whether for a few Euros they can copy and mail the material to you. Alternatively you may have to pay someone to go there and do the copies for you.
The Death Certificates contain last known address, age of deceased and marital status, occupation, cause of death. Often it also lists remaining family members left alive and where they live. You need to know when they died as there are no indices for these records.
Wills are held from 1850 onwards. To request to see a Will you need to provide year of death and last known address.
The Lehman’s address book (Vienna addresses from 1859 onwards) is useful to obtain an address and that is held on microfilm at the Gasometer. A full set of the books is also held in the National Library at the Hofburg. If you have a name you can find an address for each year lived there. It often has occupation as well and business addresses too, even whether the household had a telephone.
For civil marriage records (from 1870), birth records (from 1868) and death records (from 1872) of persons who did not belong to a religious community (including many mixed marriages and their children),
Contact: Magistrat der Stadt Wien, MA 61 Zivilmatrik
Rathaus Stiege 8
Zimmer 17 C 1
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 8:00 am – 12:00 Noon
If your family member married “out”(i.e. they married a non-jewish spouse) then you can search elsewhere in the Catholic or Protestant records.
Up to 1938 the records for Catholics are held by the Archdiocese of Vienna: www.kirchenarchive.at/
If they married a Protestant then you have to contact the Protestant Church in Austria: http://www.evang.at/
[2008 note (edited) from SIG member Vera Finberg about civil marriages…
Austria was very advanced in the civil registration of marriages and eventually the introduction of the term “Konfessionslos” (non religious). One could enter a “Konfessionslos” marriage after 1868. There are “Konfessionlos” marriage books in the archives in Vienna. They date back to at least 1875 and probably from 1868. In most cases, at least one of the parties was Jewish.
The marriage would have been legalised at the Magistrat. “Konfessionslos” meant one did not have to pay the “Kulturssteur” to support the appropriate religious body.
To obtain information from the “Konfessionslos” records one can write to:
You must pay for this service. Minimum is €43 (approx. $AUD65) As minimum data are full name and birth date (husband!) required.
The archives also have the “Alt-Katholisch” birth, marriage and death records from 1878-1938. There are privacy restrictions if one cannot give the date of death of both parties. If the people were born before 1897, then the restrictions do not apply]
DOKUMENTATIONSARCHIV DES ÖSTERREICHISCHEN WIDERSTANDES
The Dokumentationsarchiv (Documentation Archive) in the Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall) in Wipplingerstrasse in Vienna was established in the 60’s by former fighters and anti Fascist historians who wanted to keep their stories alive for future generations. They get financial support from the City of Vienna and the Federal Government. Their own research centres on Resistance and persecution, the Holocaust, neo Nazism and more. They have a permanent exhibition, a large archive and library with a lot of information on the Holocaust.
Their website now has a searchable online database of over 62,000 Austrian Holocaust victims. The database is also searchable from computers at the new museum on the Judenplatz in Vienna, where there is a new Holocaust memorial.
Dokumentationsarchiv des Österreichischen Widerstandes
A-1010 Wien, Austria
Permanent exhibition in Altes Rathaus is open:
Monday to Wednesday, Friday 9 am to 5 pm.
Thursday 9 am to 7 pm.
You can write them an email in English. They have experts on the Holocaust who can help you search.
Website: www.oesta.gv.at (English)
This is what we would call the Austrian Federal Archive.
Austria is made up of nine separate Regions or Länder. The Archives are decentralised so if you are searching for someone who lived outside Vienna in another Region, say in Burgenland or Styria, you have to go to the regional archive. The National Archives have a list of Regional Archives on their website.
Contact: Austrian State Archive
Nottendorfer Gasse 2
The Internet Unit can be reached at: email@example.com.
Opening times: Mon Tues Thurs 9.00 am – 3.00 pm; Wed 9.00 am – 6.00 pm; Fri 9.00 am – 1.00 pm
You can use the Reading Room at the Austrian Archives in the Third District where they have photocopiers you can use and helpful reference librarians. But make sure you take plenty of change as there is no café in the archives itself and no shops nearby. If you plan to visit the Austrian State Archives, please give them advance notice in writing and send a brief description of your research project.
Dr. Hubert Steiner of the Österreichische Staatsarchiv (Federal Archives) produced a search aid for the property lists which all Jews in Vienna were forced to submit in 1938. The unpublished manuscript is held at the reference desk in the Reading Room. You can borrow it and read it there and then order the actual files to copy and read. If you are unable to go there in person you can look at the list on the web at: http://www.avotaynu.com/HolocaustList/a2.htm.
The property lists contain detailed lists of possessions and property and also sometimes contain data on what happened to the persons concerned, including their exile addresses and so on. Practically all Jews in Vienna in 1938 completed one, because if they didn’t everything was confiscated.
See Steiner, Hubert/Kucsera, Christian: Recht als Unrecht. Quellen zur wirtschaftlichen Entrechtung der Wiener Juden durch die Vermögensverkehrsstelle. Wien 1993.
Public transport is easy: Take U3 to Erdberg exit Nottendorfergasse. Buses 78A, 79A, 80A to Erdberg.
You just have to take your passport with you. No advance arrangements are required.
The Kriegsarchiv (Military archive) is in the same building as the Staatsarchiv and contains personal details of members of the Imperial Armed Forces (up to WW1) who originated from the entire Austro-Hungarian Empire and other parts of what is present day Austria (After 1918 relevant files were sent to Prague and Budapest and so on). For ordinary soldiers you have to know the date of entry into the armed forces and which regiment, and then you can see the “Grundbuchblatt”.
Officers are listed in an alphabetically organized archive of so-called “Qualifikationslisten” (the file numbers are all QUALL ###) and can be accessed by name alone! The files contain mainly military career details, but it is possible to pick out details on date and place of birth, marital status and whether and when children were born. See www.genealogy.net/reg/AUT/karchiv.html for a detailed description of the archive in German, or contact:
A-1030 Vienna, Austria
Adresse: Nottendorfer Gasse 2-4, 1030 Wien
Opening times of the reading room: Monday, Thursday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm; Tuesday, Wednesday 9:00 am to 6:00 pm; Friday 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
Files for soldiers up to 1918 are in the Kreigsarchiv. After 1918 military service records are held in the Archiv Der Republik.
Archiv der Republik
Adresse: Nottendorfer Gasse 2, A-1030 Wien
Opening times of the reading room: Monday, Thursday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm; Tuesday, Wednesday 9:00 am to 6:00 pm; Friday 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
AUSTRIAN NATIONAL LIBRARY
In the Austrian National Library (Österreiche Nationalbibliothek) you can view a number of useful resources.
The library holds some school records. It also has a newspaper archive downstairs, where you can view old copies of the Neues Wiener Tageblatt (New Vienna Daily Gazette) (microfilm 394.205 – D.Per) and the Neue Freie Presse (New Free Press) (microfilm 393.929 – D). These are the two papers in which Jewish families put death notices. The notices usually contain names of all family members (also parents, brothers, sisters, in-laws).
The library is slowly digitising many of its newspapers and these include the Neue Freie Presse and the Wiener Zeitung (Vienna Gazette) for example and many others as well. It is possible to view them online.
Also in the library you can get Lehmann’s Wiener Wohnunhgsanzeiger (cat. # 393.867 – C.Per). This is an alphabetical listing of all heads of household in Vienna from 1859 onwards. It is like a telephone directory for the 19th century. The Mormon FHL has these directories available for 1870, 1902, 1906, 1908 and 1925.
Contact: Josefsplatz 1, 1015 Wien
The entrance is from the Heldenplatz in front of the Hofburg palace, opposite the Volksgarten.
[Note from Peter Lowe a SIG member:
ANNO website (Austrian Newspaper Online) – http://anno.onb.ac.at/anno.htm – The newspapers included in the National Library’s online database are extensive. They include the Prager Tagblatt a German paper covering Prague, Neue Freie Presse which was Jewish owned and ran many death notices and the Wiener Zeitung which is starting to be searchable. The period covered is from the 1800’s through to 2000. Not all are yet digitised though or searchable.]
HOLOCAUST AND NATIONAL SOCIALIST RELATED RESOURCES
Nationalfonds der Republik Österreich für Opfer des Nationalsozialismus
Website: www.nationalfonds.org (English)
The Austrian government set up a fund to assist needy Holocaust victims from Austria. The main task of the National Fonds is to provide financial support for victims of National Socialism as quickly, flexibly and unbureaucratically as possible. It was established in 1995, the 50th Anniversary of the Second Republic, in order to “remember all the immense wrong inflicted on millions of human beings by Nazism as well as the fact that Austrians, too, were involved in these crimes.”
In case of grave illness or social need, payments to younger persons can be made – in case of social hardship the amount of 70,000 Austrian Schillings (approximately $6,000 US dollars) can be tripled.
Contact: Nationalfonds der Republik Österreich für Opfer des Nationalsozialismus – General Secretary
Dr. Karl-Renner-Ring 3
1017 Wien, Parlament, Austria
In 2001 the Federal Austrian Government set up another programme to compensate Jewish and other victims. This is the General Settlement Fund. Applications have closed but their database may be a useful source of information. They have taken on a role as a tracing agency and will put Holocaust victims and survivors in contact with each other.
Contact: The General Settlement Fund for the Victims of National Socialism
Dr Karl-Renner-Ring 3,
1017 Vienna, Austria
Historikerkommission (Historical Commission)
In 1987 the Austrian government set up a historical commission to write a series of reports on the Nazi era and its aftermath. Unfortunately their website is no longer functioning. Its extensive, multi-volume report was completed and tabled to government in 2002.
Historikerkommission Der Republik Österreich
Nottendorfer Gasse 2
University of Vienna Memorial Book
The University of Vienna has created an online Memorial Book Dedicated to the Victims of National-Socialism at the University of Vienna 1938. The site’s English version is at http://gedenkbuch.univie.ac.at/index.php?id=433&L=2
A searchable database lists expelled students and dismissed staff, as well as graduates whose academic credentials were rescinded after the German Anschluss. The database includes names and biographical information of over 2,000 people — mostly Jews, several hundred of whom were from Galician towns.
Enter your town name in the Full Search field to find names of students/faculty who were born or were residents (“heimatberechtigt”) there. The search assumes a wild card; so, for example, writing Tarno brings up people from Tarnobrzeg, Tarnopol, and Tarnow.
Archive of the Mauthausen Memorial
The Mauthausen Memorial archive and library are in Vienna and are open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors are requested to notify their visit in advance.
Location: Minoritenplatz 9, 7th floor, room 720
Vienna I, centre
Contact: Archiv der KZ-Gedenkstätte Mauthausen
Bundesministerium für Inneres
P.O. Box 100
VIENNA WIESENTHAL INSTITUTE FOR HOLOCAUST STUDIES
The Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies is a joint project of numerous Austrian organisations whose objective is to establish a centre in Vienna for social-political debate regarding anti-Semitism, racism and the Holocaust.
Contact: Wiener Wiesenthal Instute fuer Holocaust-Studien (VWV)
Desider Friedmann-Platz 1/8
1010 Wien, AUSTRIA