Archive of the Jewish Community of Vienna

  • Archiv der Israelitischen Kultusgemeinde (IKG) Wien
  • Archive IKG Vienna


The Archive of the Jewish Community (IKG) of Vienna was officially founded in 1816, when the Council of Representatives of Vienna’s Jews decided to establish an archive in order to gather and process regularly produced official documents. Nevertheless it took another thirty years for it to become an institutional archive. From the 1840ies onwards most records have been kept continuously, pointing out institutional concerns of a religious community with increasing educational and social functions. During the 19th century the Archive was professionally organized and until the 1920ies the records were catalogued by subject terms and individual names.

Immediately after the so called “Anschluss” in March 1938 the IKG was temporarily closed by the Nazis. In the beginning of May 1938 the IKG was reopened and the Nazis forced the IKG to abandon its Archive. The indexes and files that had been produced before and after 1938 were the basis for the Nazi to force the IKG to organise Jewish emigration and later on deportation.

After the end of the Nazi terror regime in May 1945 the newly established Jewish Community had become very small due to the Nazi persecution. About 120,000 Austrian Jews fled the “Reich” and 65,000 Jews had been murdered by the Nazis, among them 48,000 Jews that had been deported to concentration camps.

By decision of the Board of the Jewish Community of Vienna the Archive was re-founded and re-opened in 2009.

Mandates/Sources of Authority

Archive of the Jewish Community of Vienna

Administrative Structure

The Jewish Community (IKG) of Vienna is a corporation under public law. It represents the cultural, social, religious and educational interests of its approximately 8,900 members. In 2009, 70 years after its closure by the Nazis, the Archive was founded and embedded as department in the organisational structure of the IKG Vienna. Due to further reorganization in 2013/2014 the Jewish Records Office (Matrikenamt) was connected to the Archive. It preserves birth, marriage and death records of the Jewish population of Vienna from 1826 until 1938.

Archival and Other Holdings


The records in Vienna and those deposited in Israel as a loan represent the largest preserved archive of a Jewish Community still in existence.

Archival Material in Jerusalem on loan: Due to the tremendous challenges the IKG had to face after World War II the Archive could not be reopened and the chairmanship of the IKG finally agreed to the transfer of archival records to Jerusalem as a loan and free of charge. In 1952, 1966, 1971 and 1978 two thirds of the archival material of the period from 1626 to 1945 had been transferred to the “The Jewish Historical General Archives” (now: The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People in Jerusalem).
The transferred material consists of about 3 million pages, numerous documents from the 19th and early 20th century dealing with internal and external affairs in the areas of general administration, finance, construction, registration, cemeteries, social welfare, religious and teaching affairs as well as institutional concerns and daily activities of a religious community. The archival material in Jerusalem also contains numerous documents concerning expulsion, emigration and deportation of the Jewish population during the Nazi terror regime.

Archival Material in Vienna: For more than two decades it was assumed that the entire archival records had been deposited at the Central Archives in Jerusalem as a loan. But the IKG authorities seemed to have overlooked numerous records, indices and books relating to the periods before, during and after the National Socialist era. In 1986 innumerable records were found by Mr. Ernst Meir Stern during the renovation of the cellar of the main synagogue. How and why these records were kept in Vienna remains unknown. The entire archival holdings were brought to a storage place where they fell again into oblivion. The former President of the IKG, Mr. Ariel Muzicant, and the Executive Director of the presidency of the IKG, Ms. Erika Jakubovits, could not accept this situation and consistently investigated the allegedly missing Archive. In 2000 they found 800 cardboard boxes, index cards, documents and large books reaching from the floor to the ceiling in a storage room at Herklotzgasse in the 15th district of Vienna. The archival holdings were transported to the Jewish Community of Vienna. The majority of the re-found documents were identified as dating from the Nazi era such as the emigration card index, deportation lists, reports, emigration and financial documents, books, maps and charts. They were mixed with more recent as well as older material from the 19th and early 20th centuries. With the financial support of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum the IKG was able to start the microfilming of Holocaust-related records in Vienna and Jerusalem in 2002/2003. More than three and a half million pages have been microfilmed since then.

Finding Aids, Guides, and Publication

An Online Archival Information System (=> Scope Database) is planned. It is the aim to reunify the archival holdings in Vienna as their place of origin, to catalogue the documents according to scientific archival standards, to digitalize them and to make them accessible to the public in its entity according to the regulations of data protection and the law on civil status.
For Jerusalem: Finding aids had been produced during the 1970ies by the former librarian and later general secretary Avshalom Hodik. They are online available, please see

Opening Times

If you wish to visit the Archive/Jewish Records Office it is necessary due to organisational reasons to make an appointment by email at least one week before your planned visit.


The Archive is located in the first Viennese district, Desider-Friedmann-Platz 1, first floor. A lift for one to two persons exists.

Research Services

The staff of the Archive speaks German and English.

Reproduction Services

For photographing or scanning the archival material a special permission is needed. Please contact the Head of the Archive. Archival material can only be reproduced within the frame of the legal provisions on data protection and civil status. In case the archival material is damaged or in bad condition reproduction is forbidden. Please confer the charges on the Website

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