Information on data processing: Aryanization files - Upper Austria (holdings of the Jewish Community Linz)
Terms of reference
The file numbers of the series Arisierungsakten (“Aryanization files”), held under the titles IVc an Ib/J, document their origins at the Office of the Representative of the Reich Upper Danube “Special Division De-Jewification”.
It is likely that the file material came into the possession of the Jewish Community Linz in around 1950. In 2002, the Jewish Community Linz transferred the aryanization files (together with the property notices) to the Archives of Upper Austria as a long term loan. The holdings are stored in ten archive boxes at the Archives of Upper Austria in the sub-holdings Israelitische Kultusgemeinde Linz (“Jewish Community Linz”) and are comprised of 76 unordered, often very voluminous, aryanization files.
For the General Settlement Fund, the property notices are of fundamental importance for determining and valuing the property losses asserted in the applications.
The data on the sub-holdings “Jewish Community Linz” was conveyed by the Archives of Upper Austria to the General Settlement Fund in digital form on 7 June 2011. It included a list of 57 entries on aryanized companies.
The data regarding the series “Aryanization files”, which are neither alphabetically nor numerically ordered, were edited manually using the digital list conveyed by the Archives of Upper Austria in June 2011 and then transferred into an excel table. The file series comprises 72 individual files relating to 54 “aryanized” companies in Upper Austria. Four other files are related to general information overviews and reports and mostly consist of various lists. In total, the sub-holdings “Jewish Community Linz” with the series “Aryanization files”, contain 76 individual files. When placing an order at the Archives of Upper Austria, the name of the legal person (e.g. of a company) is to be given as well as the box and the index number.
Processing the digitized data
The data on the aryanization files was conveyed to the General Settlement Fund in digital form and had to be adapted to fit in with the database. In addition to the person or company name, the table conveyed by the Archives of Upper Austria contained a comprehensive description of the contents, above all a series of different file numbers which were written by hand or printed on the file covers and originated from a number of different periods of time.
The names are generally recorded in the data entry field Firmenbezeichnung (“company name”). In cases where it was clear that a name did not refer to a company, the person was recorded in the data entry field “surname”. At the same time, owners were able to be established for a majority of the companies listed using other sources (such as the Upper Austrian address directories or the property notices). The majority could then be recorded in the corresponding data entry field together with their date of birth and address. In addition, if more than one person was entered in each line, they were each given their own line in the column for either the legal and/or natural person as appropriate.
The descriptions of the file material, some of which are very comprehensive, are recorded in the Findbuch data entry field “remarks” in their entirety. Editing the file numbers proved difficult as they cannot be easily attributed. For this reason, the majority of the numbers stated on the cover of the files and the related descriptions were also recorded in the “remarks” field. In contrast, only the new index number given by the Archives of Upper Austria was entered in the entry field “file number” and the box number, to ensure that the Archives of Upper Austria can find and retrieve the file.
The entire data holdings were edited and standardized using the following criteria: spelling mistakes were corrected and spellings standardized. Abbreviated place names were written out in full. “aryanizers” and “buyers in good faith” were rendered anonymous. Where necessary, Austrian residential addresses were supplemented with a district and province and international addresses with a country, in order that they may be placed geographically. The formal processing standards developed by the working group were also applied.