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.
The Archive was reopened in 2009.
Please confer www.ikg-wien.at
Since 2009 the Archive is a department of the Jewish Community of Vienna (www.ikg-wien.at):
In January 2009 the “Anlaufstelle der Israelitischen Kultusgemeinde Wien für jüdische NS-Verfolgte in und aus Österreich” (http://www.restitution.or.at) was closed and transformed into two new departments: the Department for Restitution Affairs (http://www.restitution.or.at) and the Department of the Archive (http://www.ikg-wien.at) itself. More than seventy years after the dissolution of the Archive by the Nazis, the Viennese Jewish Archive was institutionally re-installed in 2009.
Due to further reorganization in 2013/2014 the Jewish Records Office (Matrikenamt) was connected to the Archive (http://www.ikg-wien.at). It preserves birth, marriage and death records of the Jewish population of Vienna and some former Jewish Communities in Lower Austria for the period from 1826 to the Nazi era.
THE HOLDINGS OF THE ARCHIVE OF THE JEWISH COMMUNITY OF VIENNA
As of 2014 the archival holdings of the Jewish Community are situated at different locations: in Moscow, Jerusalem, Vienna, etc. The records in Vienna and those deposited in Israel and Russia represent the largest preserved archive of a Jewish Community still in existence.
Archival Material in Jerusalem: 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 collection 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 Moscow: In 1938/39 Jewish associations, foundations and organizations of the IKG were dissolved and expropriated by the Nazis. In 1939 the confiscated archival records and manuscripts were transported to Berlin and later on, 1943, to Silesia. After the end of the war the Red Army discovered the documents, transferred them to Moscow and stored the archival material (more than 2,580 fascicles and 66 Jewish manuscripts of Jewish associations, foundations and organizations) in the so-called Special Archive (Osobyi).
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 collection. 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 and stored at the premises of the former “Anlaufstelle der Israelitsichen Kultusgemeinde Wien für jüdische NS-Verfolte in und aus Österreich” (http://www.restitution.or.at).
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. Unfortunately the documents were disordered, incomplete, scattered, deteriorated, crumbled and dirty. Besides, there were no inventories or finding aids. After the conservational treatment the archival material was sorted, registered, catalogued and categorized. With the financial support of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (http://www.ushmm.org) 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. The holdings of the Archive of the Viennese Jewish Community include documents from the Nazi period as well as documents from the period before 1938 and after 1945. The most important archival material are among others emigration questionnaires from May 1938 onwards as well as holocaust-related files, including deportation lists from Vienna.
For Vienna: Finding aids will be provided via intranet within the following 3 years. 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. 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 https://cahjp.huji.ac.il/. For Moscow: Finding Aids are not available. Please contact the Head of the Archive.
The Archive is not yet open to the public.
The Jewish Records Office (Matrikenamt) is open from Monday to Thursday 9 am - 2 pm and Friday 9 am - 1 pm.
For the Archive: It is necessary to make an appointment with the Head of the Archive at least one week in advance. Please make your request by mail or fax. A valid identification card or passport is necessary.
For the Jewish Records Office: Due to organizational reasons we kindly ask you to register in advance. Please make your request by mail or fax. A valid identification card or passport is necessary.
The Archive is located in the first Viennese district, Desider-Friedmann-Platz 1, first floor. A lift for one to two persons exists.
The staff of the Archive speaks German and English. An info point as well as a research room are planned to be provided within the following years.
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.