Around 13,000 new records published on Findbuch.at
The database of the Findbuch for Victims of National Socialism has recently been expanded following the addition of a large amount of new data on files in Austrian archives. Now, for the first time, the Findbuch can be used to find files from the Lower Austrian Provincial Archives and the Styrian Provincial Archives. In addition, “aryanization files” from the holdings of the Property Transaction Office at the Austrian State Archives and post-war files on public administration from the holdings of the Vienna Municipal Authority at the Municipal and Provincial Archives of Vienna have been included in the Findbuch database for the first time.
Austrian State Archives
The largest proportion of the new data comprises around 5,500 files of the Nazi Property Transaction Office on the file series “trade” and “commerce”, which are kept at the Austrian State Archives. Thus, the first two of around 20 series of files of the so-called “aryanization files” of the Property Transaction Office Vienna can be researched online. After the war, these files entered the State Archives via the Federal Ministry of Economic Planning and Property Control and later the Federal Ministry of Finance and they relate to aryanization or liquidation cases in Vienna and (occasionally) in the greater Vienna area (“Groß-Wien”). They supplement the property declarations of Jews from Vienna already published in the Findbuch database.
Lower Austrian Provincial Archives
The approximately 3,000 property notices from the holdings of the Reich Governor of Lower Danube held at the Lower Austrian Provincial Archives, which can now also be called up using the Findbuch database, comprise the property notices filed by Jews from Lower Austria as well as those from the South Moravian districts (Neubistritz, Znojmo and Nikolsburg), Brno and Prague, partly also from the former Lower Austrian outlying districts that were added to the Greater Vienna region, as well as a few notices from Tyrol and Vorarlberg. These data supplement and complete those on the property notices from the Austrian State Archives, the Burgenland and the Upper Austrian Provincial Archives, which are already contained in the Findbuch database.
Styrian Provincial Archives
For the first time, files from the Styrian Provincial Archives are now also available on Findbuch.at. These consist of around 3,300 dates restoration and restitution files of the Provincial Court for Civil Matters in Graz as well as about 180 “aryanization files Bad Aussee” from the holdings of the Property Transaction Office Graz and the Property Control Files. The Bad Aussee holdings comprise, firstly, the files on seized properties and, secondly, the property control files that were transferred to Styria from Upper Austria after the reincorporation of the Ausseerland and filed as a separate sub-holding.
Municipal and Provincial Archives of Vienna
Another new data set in the Findbuch database comprises about 800 files on the public administration of real estate, companies and corporations, trade and commercial enterprises, cinemas, agriculture and industry, which were created by the Vienna municipal authority and stored at the Municipal and Provincial Archives of Vienna. After the end of the war in 1945, public administrators or public supervisors were appointed when “significant public interest in the continued operation of the company and securing of its assets” existed. This affected, for example, enterprises that were without management because those responsible had fled from the Allies.
Over 215,000 files from nine archives in the Findbuch database
With the new sets of data, the Findbuch database now contains more than 215,000 records from nine Austrian archives and enables users to search for persons and companies in archival holdings on Nazi property seizures and Austrian restitution and compensation measures. In addition, Findbuch.at currently contains around 25,000 pages of digitized historical address books, official handbooks on public offices and literature from ten libraries, publishing houses and other institutions that support the Findbuch for Victims of National Socialism.
A selected reaction to the Findbuch database
From the head of the Lower Austrian Provincial Archives and Library Department, Hofrat PD Dr. Roman Zehetmayer MAS, Director of Archives: “In the age of digitization, one of the key tasks is to link together thematically related holdings from different archives. For the benefit of users, archives, libraries and other ‘memory stores’ should see themselves as partners and cooperate with each other, even more so than in the past. In the National Fund’s Findbuch database this vision has to some extent become reality. Especially in Austria, the improved networking of source-related research on Nazi victims is very welcome.”
Further files currently under preparation for publication in the Findbuch database
Currently, the team at the National Fund is working on indexing and publishing further data from cooperating archives, including the so-called export applications from the holdings of the Federal Office for the Protection of Monuments, the registrations of seized property from the Styrian Provincial Archives, “Aryanization and restitution files” from the holdings of the Reich Governor of Lower Danube at the Lower Austrian Provincial Archives as well as further data from the holdings of the Vienna Property Transaction Office at the Austrian State Archives.