Information on data processing: Aryanization files (North Burgenland and South Burgenland)
Terms of reference
The file series Arisierungsakten (Nordburgenland und Südburgenland) 1938–1945 (“Aryanization files [North Burgenland and South Burgenland] 1938–1945”) originated at the Vermögensverkehrsstelle (“Property Transaction Office”) in Vienna, established by the National Socialists at the Ministry for the Economy and Labor in May 1938. The Property Transaction Office was created in order to record the entire assets of people who were considered Jewish pursuant to the Nuremberg Laws of 1935 (German Reich Law Gazette 1935 I p. 1146, Austrian Law Gazette 150/1938) and then to “aryanize” them. After the Anschluss of Austria to the German Reich, the newly drawn boundaries of the Gaue (“Reich regions”) saw Burgenland split between the two neighboring Reich regions, Lower Danube and Styria. During this process, as of 15 October 1938 the northern districts Neusiedl am See, Eisenstadt, Mattersburg and Oberpullendorf were merged with the Reich region Lower Danube, and the southern districts Oberwart, Güssing and Jennersdorf joined the Reich region Styria.
After the end of the war in May 1945, Burgenland was re-established in the Soviet occupied zone. The Eisensadt authorities took on the all archive material from the Lower Austrian and Styrian Provincial Governments which related to Burgenland and had accumulated between 1938 and 1945. The Burgenland Provincial Archives assigned the file material originating from the Property Transaction Office as “Aryanization files (North Burgenland and South Burgenland) 1938–1945” to the sub-holdings Behördlichen Archivbestände (“Authorities’ archive holdings”) of the Forschungsarchiv (“Research Archive”).
The files contain the entire correspondence involved in recording and aryanizing Jewish assets (companies, land, insurance policies, stocks and bonds and personal valuables), for example requests for approval to buy, the appointment of a provisional administrator, valuation reports on assets, purchase contracts, purchase contract approvals, written correspondence and expert opinions on liquidation and “aryanisation”. In several of these aryanization files, property notices can be found which had been enclosed with the respective aryanization file by the Property Transaction Office.
Furthermore, within this file series files can also be found entitled Vermögensanmeldungen NÖ, Verzeichnis über das Vermögen von Juden (“Property notices Lower Austria, list of Jewish property“). This file series comprises 140 property notices filed by Jews from North Burgenland and is stored in box number 67. The Province of Lower Austria handed these files over to Burgenland after 1945.
For the General Settlement Fund, the property notices are of fundamental importance for determining and valuing the property losses asserted in the applications.
At the request of the General Settlement Fund, in 2002 the Burgenland Provincial Archives sent a copy of two typewritten lists of the “Aryanization files (North Burgenland and South Burgenland)”. The files are subdivided into five inventories consisting of 83 boxes with 1,320 individual files and an unknown number of documents which cannot be attributed to any particular file.
The aryanization files for North Burgenland are stored in chronological order in 68 boxes, which are spilt into four inventories. Inventory I contains boxes 1–43 with 914 individual files up to file number 4.815. Inventory II contains just one box with 43 individual files with amended numbering which is formed using the combination “IX-1” plus the file number. The inventory III contains seven boxes with 141 individual files which are also numbered unconventionally. Each file number in inventory III is preceded by the three letters “AND”. This is likely to be an abbreviation used by the Property Transaction Office for the agricultural estates which were to be aryanized. The remaining 18 boxes make up inventory IV, which is not included in the Findbuch. These are comprised of non-personalized lists of various origins. The contain accounting, tax and business documents from “Jewish businesses”, lists with various property ownership and rent statements and invoices. One exception is box number 67 from inventory IV, which contains 140 property notices of Jews predominantly from North Burgenland. These have been recorded in a separate excel table.
The aryanization files for South Burgenland are contained in 15 boxes (fascicle) (number 69–83) with 265 individual files in inventory V. This file series contains files up to number 11,788. Each file number is attributed one or more persons – without the date of birth – and their respective municipality of origin. There are large gaps in the series of file numbers due to the fact that only the files which were undoubtedly related to Burgenland were transferred to Eisenstadt.
In 2002, the staff of the General Settlement Fund transferred this data (with the exception of inventory IV) into an excel table. Obvious spelling mistakes and inconsistent spellings were corrected. Missing forenames, district and company or business names were completed or amended using the address directory Herold Burgenland 1938 (Austrian address directory – Herold 1938). Abbreviated place names were written out in full and addresses were adapted to their historical spelling.
In order to order a particular file from the Burgenland Provincial Archives, the file number, name and box number must be stated.
Processing the digitized data
The lists conveyed by the Burgenland Provincial Archives were transferred into the standardized excel format of the Findbuch. The file numbers and their related persons and municipalities were put into separate columns. As several file numbers were allocated to several persons, mostly family members, they were also separated and an individual record was created for each person. Subsequently, in the “remarks” field of each of these records reference is made to the other related persons.
The names of the municipalities were checked and supplemented by the district in which they were situated according to Herold Burgenland 1938 (Austrian address directory – Herold 1938). For some individuals the date of birth was able to be determined and incorporated into the Findbuch using the file material stored in the archive of the General Settlement Fund. A similar procedure was carried out for job titles and company names. If a file number was only allocated to one legal person or company, it was attempted to establish the owner or majority owner with the assistance of the index opened by the Sammelstellen A and B (“Collection Agencies A and B”), Erfassung Betriebe Burgenland ("List of companies in Burgenland") in the Austrian State Archives.
If property notices had been allocated to the files, their correct placement was checked using the documents from the archive of the General Settlement Fund and entered in the data entry field “remarks” with the number of the property notice. The formal processing standards developed by the working group were also applied.
The file series “Aryanization files (North Burgenland and South Burgenland) 1938–1945” contains just over 1,800 records.