New and updated records available on Findbuch

Following an update new data is available on Findbuch for “proceeds from seized businesses”, the “seizure of Jewish claims” and reedited and supplemented records can be found under the Financial Directorate Index for Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland and the Files of the Restitution Commission at the Provincial Court Salzburg.

“Proceeds from seized business” (SSt 5140)

The file of the Collection Agencies A and B, file no. 5140 contains, 1,109 entries in list form, regarding proceeds from Jewish businesses and enterprises. Once earmarked by the Property Transaction Office for liquidation – i.e. closure – so called “liquidators” were entrusted with the sale of the company, paying off its debts and collecting outstanding claims. The liquidators were, in turn, accountable to fiduciary and trust companies and any surplus from the dissolution of a company had to be paid into accounts of the Property Transaction Office held at Viennese banks. These accounts were designated so called “90s accounts” as 90 percent of the proceeds of liquidation was paid into them.

After the liberation of Austria in 1945 the accounts and their balances were administered by the Federal Ministry for Economic Planning and Property Control (from 1950 a department of the Federal Ministry of Finance). In 1953, at the request of the Federal Ministry of Finance the approx. 930,000 Austrian Schilling held in accounts at the Creditanstalt-Bankverein was transferred to the depositary of the Higher Provincial Court Vienna. Following demands by the the aggrieved owners or their heirs it was paid out bit by bit. In 1960, collection Agencies A and B laid claim to the remaining 30,000 Schilling and received during the course of its correspondence regarding this money the present lists with records of the aggrieved companies and the remaining sums of money. The publication of this data in the Findbuch constitutes a historical supplementation to the files of the former National Socialist Property Transaction Office regarding the seizure and liquidation of Jewish businesses up to 1945.

“Seizure of Jewish Claims” (FLD Reg. 21340)

Seizures of assets carried out in accordance with the Elfte Verordnung zum Reichsbürgergesetz (“Eleventh Decree to the Reich Citizenship Law”, German Reich Law Gazette 1941 I p. 722 ff.) also extended to claims arising from Jewish professional activities and from Jewish companies and enterprises, which were then collected by the National Socialist Chief Finance President Vienna-Lower Danube. The documents and supporting documents stored under registry no. 21340 as a file of the Financial Directorate for Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland pursuant to the Erstes Rückstellungsgesetz (“First Restitution Act”), contain names and sums of money relating to a large number of aggrieved Jewish persons or their companies which are not included in the analogue index for this record group (Austrian State Archives, Vienna). The publication of the names of these aggrieved persons and companies should be viewed as an augmentation of the electronic index of the Financial Directorate Vienna regarding the files pursuant to the First Restitution Act. The seized amounts have been documented in the Findbuch due to the fact that the documents fill four boxes and have been filed away in an unsystematic manner. Moreover, they are in a very poor condition.

Revision of the Financial Directorate Index

The 43,600 entries from the Index of the Financial Directorate for Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland which have been accessible in the Findbuch since January 2013 were systematically checked and ornithological errors in surnames and forenames and dates of births were amended and duplicate records removed: over 1,900 records were reviewed, 720 duplicates (arising in the most part from the inclusion of women under both their married and maiden names) deleted and around 850 new records created. The new entries are result from the inclusion of spouses (wives) and children, who were not included in the index of the Financial Directorate for Vienna. This work has served to improve the data in terms of both quality and quantity with an increase, albeit minimal, from 43,600 to 43,800 records.

Augmentation of the files of the Restitution Commission at the Salzburg Provincial Court

Until now, the lists drawn up by Dr. Albert Lichtblau during his research for the Austrian Historical Commission between 1999 and 2001 have been available on the Findbuch for Victims of National Socialism. In summer 2013, the Salzburg Provincial Archives provided the National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism with a comprehensive list containing an additional 441 records regarding the files of the Restitution Commission, which has been prepared for the Findbuch and imported into the database.