Collection Agencies A and B – “Proceeds from Seized Businesses”
Titles of the holdings
Austrian State Archives/Archives of the Republic
Record group: Entschädigungs- und Restitutionsangelegenheiten (“Compensation and restitution matters“), 1938–1985
Holdings: Hilfsfonds (“Assistance Fund”), 1955–1982
File series: Sammelstellen A und B (“Collection Agencies A and B”), 1957–1972, claims, equity and sale files
File: file number 5041 (title: “Proceeds from seized businesses”)
Abbreviated title for the type of file: SSt
Origins of the holdings
The National Socialist Property Transaction Office, established in Vienna in May 1938 was responsible for supervising provisional administrators, trustees and liquidators for Jewish-owned commercial, trading and industrial companies. The task of the liquidator appointed by the Property Transaction Office was, upon an order being issued, to liquidate (i.e. dissolve) a company, to sell the company’s constituent parts, to collect outstanding claims and settle any debts. At times, the Property Transaction Office transferred its supervisory responsibilities to the auditing and tax advisory companies to whom the liquidators were legally accountable. The companies engaged for this purpose included:
- Laconia-Institut Dr. Georg Przyborski
- Gesellschaft für Revision und treuhändige Verwaltung Ges. m.b.H.
- Treuhandgesellschaft Donau Ges. m.b.H.
- Kreditschutzverband von 1870 reg. Gen. m.b.H.
While 90 % of the surpluses from the company liquidations was deposited by the audit companies into special subsidiary accounts of the Property Transaction Office at Viennese banking institutes (Creditanstalt-Bankverein, Österreichische Länderbank AG, Gewerbe- und Handelsbank) and as a rule could not be disposed of by the Jewish owners, 10 % of liquidation surpluses was paid into subsidiary accounts which were used to cover costs arising from the liquidation process (e.g. payment of fees). These subsidiary accounts were designated with the first letter of the respective company and the percentage of the liquidation surplus paid in. Therefore, the Laconia-Institut had an L 90 and an L 10 account, the Gesellschaft für Revision und treuhändige Verwaltung an R 90 and an R 10 account, the Treuhandgesellschaft Donau a D 90 and a D 10 account and the Kreditschutzverband von 1870 a K 90 and a K 10 account. Where the origin of the liquidation proceeds (company name) was recorded on the 90s accounts, the payments into the 10s accounts were paid without differentiation into the sum total.
In 1953, at the instruction of the Federal Ministry of Finance, 929,895.06 Austrian Schilling which was still held on Creditanstalt-Bankverein accounts was deposited in the depositary of the Higher Provincial Court Vienna. Following payments to entitled claimants (e.g. aggrieved owners), in 1960 a little over 30,000 Schilling remained on these accounts, to which the Collection Agencies A and B laid claim.
Contents of the files
The file contains the 23 formal requests (detailed lists) from 1953 provided by the Creditanstalt-Bankverein in copy to Collection Agencies A and B, containing 1,109 entries on liquidation surpluses which had been held at this institute on so called 90s accounts and the deposited on an account of the depositary of the Higher Provincial Court Vienna. In addition, there is a list containing information as to which deposited amounts were still held by the court (probably in February 1960) and which had been cancelled following disbursal.
Regarding the interpretation of the financial sums the following should be noted: the deposits were made in Reichsmark until the end of the war in 1945, which were later converted into Schilling at a rate of 1:1. Upon enactment of the Austrian Currency Protection Act 1947, amounts in excess of 100,000 Schilling were reduced by 25 % - this explains why amounts which are above this cut off display a discrepancy between the original balance and the balances recorded on the 90s accounts. The entries in the comments field which denote a mass-number (file number of the depositary department of the Higher Provincial Court Vienna) are those which still existed, at least in 1960.
Explanations and comments
Above all, it can be gathered from the original balances for which companies liquidated by the Nazis liquidation surpluses still existed in 1953, which had not been disbursed to the aggrieved owners or their heirs since the end of the war in 1945. What became of the majority of the amounts in 1953 totaling 929,895.06 Schilling and whether these sums were paid to entitled claimants or used for the settlement of fees on grounds of court orders (e.g. for representatives in absentia) must remain open. These uncertainties aside, the present records are intended to complement any existing file material on the liquidation of the respective companies contained in the archive of the former Property Transaction Office at the Austrian State Archives.
Literature: Margot Werner/Michael Wladika, Die Tätigkeit der Sammelstellen; Vienna 2004 (Publications of the Austrian Historical Commission, vol. 28).
Information on data processing: Collection Agencies A and B – “Proceeds from seized businesses”