austria Archive

Happy Austrian National Holiday 2009!

Bundespräsident Heinz Fischer welcomes visitors to his offices at the Hofburg in Vienna, 26 Oct 2009.

Bundespräsident Heinz Fischer welcomes visitors to his offices at the Hofburg in Vienna, 26 Oct 2009.

Today, the 26th of October 2009, is the Austrian National Holiday (Nationalfeiertag).  The holiday falls each year on the 26th of October and celebrates one of the founding documents of the Second Austrian Republic, an article of the Austrian constitution which declares and codifies Austria’s neutrality.

As Federal President Heinz Fischer said today in his speech at Vienna’s Heldenplatz:

With the passing of the article of the constitution concerning Austrian Neutrality in October 1955, Austria bound itself to not use war as an instrument of politics, to not join military alliances and to disallow foreign countries to have military bases on its soil.

As is tradition, the Federal President (Bundespräsident) will speak to the nation tonight at 19:48 Vienna Time (18:48 GMT). The replay will be available online at 20:00 (19:00). Unfortunately — and it pains me to say this — the Austrian public television network, the ORF, has a very poor website. It’s impossible to find a link to where the speech will be available online. I wanted to provide it for all of you who were ready and willing to practice your German! I may come by later and update this post with the proper link.

Here’s last year’s speech. Watch at least the first few seconds to hear part of the Austrian National Anthem and to see the beautiful Hofburg at night:

Until next post!

Bill Dawson

Shepherd_The_Austrians_CoverP.S. One of my favorite books concerning Austrian History covers the idea of Austrian neutrality and how it came about. The book is Gordon Brook-Shepherd’s The Austrians: A Thousand-Year Odyssey. (That link is for, but it’s also available from, and

Gordon Brook-Shepherd is not a professional historian, per se, and therefore his writing is very approachable and enjoyable.  I like to refer to him as a “gentleman historian”. I highly recommend his book as a general history of Austria, particularly if you are not looking for a history from the academic perspective.

  • In the Hausarchiv: Mikrophon, September 1934

    In the Hausarchiv: Mikrophon, September 1934

    mikrophon_cover.jpgAmateur history nerd that I am, I’m quite pleased to have married into a family which has retained all sorts of books, newspapers and magazines dating from about 1920 onwards. The “In the Hausarchiv” series gives an occasional look at the things I’ve come across in our own “house archive”.

    Today’s “In the Hausarchiv” features the September 1934 edition of the small-format magazine, Mikrophon, a “magazine for radio listeners” produced by what was, at the time, the official Austrian radio broadcaster (RAVAG).

    The cover of this September 1934 edition shows a young man wearing traditional garb (Carinthian, perhaps?), a photo which hints at one of the features within the edition, namely a story about traditional Austrian costume (“Österreichische Volkstrachten“). But of real interest to me is the first story inside: “Österreichs Heldenkanzler ist tot … !” (“Austria’s heroic chancellor is dead … !”; see scanned image). This refers to the July 1934 murder of Austria’s chancellor, Engelbert Dollfuss.

    mikrophon_dollfuss.jpgI know that, to many people, Austrian history is rather obscure. People with “passing” knowledge of the years surrounding World War Two might know of the Anschluss of 1938, when Nazi Germany occupied and then dissolved Austria, merging it into Germany. But I think relatively few people these days know that the Nazis attempted a Putsch in Austria already in 1934. It was via this Putsch that the life of the Austrian Chancellor at the time, Engelbert Dollfuss, ended; one of the Nazis who stormed the Chancellery shot him twice.

    Dollfuss himself was basically a dictator, more like the Mussolini of 1934 than the Hitler of 1934, but even more so like one might expect a Catholic dictator following some of the social tenets of Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum to be. Generally speaking, there was no broad terror associated with his dictatorship. His major concern at the time of his death in 1934 seems to have been to save Austria from Germany. With that goal in mind, he tried various ways to instill a specifically Austrian patriotism to counter the German nationalism which attached many of his subjects to the big northern neighbor and its Führer. If I sound like I’m minimizing the dictatorial aspects of Dollfuss’s regime, well it’s simply because I’m not very “impressed” with his stature amongst the 20th Century European dictators. I’m being a bit tongue-and-cheek here: by saying I’m not “impressed” I mean that Dollfuss and his followers didn’t murder and invade like the others. This isn’t to say his regime wasn’t repressive. In fact, here in the 21st Century, a good Austrian Social Democrat would probably jump down my throat for any hints of minimization of the Dollfuss dictatorship such as I’ve presented so far in this paragraph. Dollfuss did, after all, ban the Social Democrats (and the Nazis, for that matter.) He ended the parliamentary republic of Austria and instituted one party rule (the “Fatherland Front”). He was a dictator, plain and simple. He just happened to be nowhere near the meanest of the group of dictators that plagued Europe around that time. (Of course, that doesn’t mean he would not have become as bad as the others…)


    The small set of paragraphs beneath Österreichs Heldenkanzler ist tot!, as shown in the image, provide us with a nice example of precisely the kind of patriotism which Dollfuss attempted to instill in the Austrian people. An excerpt:

    “Österreich über alles, wenn es nur will.” — Dollfuss hat das Wort geprägt, und sein von glühender Vaterlandsliebe beseelter Optimismus hat es hinausgetragen bis in die fernsten Täler seiner unvergleichlich schönen Heimat, hat es tief hineingegraben in das Herz seines Volkes.”

    I find it somewhat difficult to translate that first part: Österreich über alles, wenn es nur will.  Many of you may have heard or read the words “Deutschland (, Deutschland) über alles” (which, contrary to the belief of many, did not come from the Nazis).  One English analog to “über alles” might be “first”, in the sense meant by the America First Committee of the early 1940s. In other words, “Austria (or Germany) is important above all other considerations”. Then the “wenn es nur will” part means, “if it would just want it”, i.e., if it was simply willing to believe in itself and fight for itself. It’s a strong call to patriotism, which we might translate, in a much more wordy fashion, like this:

    Austria First! It can prevail, if only it would believe in itself!

    Then, with the rest (“Dollfuss hat das Wort…”):

    “Austria First! It can prevail, if only it would believe!” — Dollfuss coined this saying, and his optimism, animated by a burning love for his Fatherland, carried it to the nethermost valleys of his incomparably beautiful homeland and buried it deep into the heart of his people.

    One can imagine that RAVAG, the radio broadcaster which published this magazine to its listeners, had a special hatred for whom they describe as “feige Mörder” (cowardly murderers). For on the day of the Putsch, 25 July 1934, the Putschists raided and occupied two buildings: the Chancellery where Dollfuss was killed, and … RAVAG! The following excerpt comes from Gordon Brook-Shepherd’s excellent Dollfuss (Amazon US, UK):

    The storming of the Government headquarters had been the rebels’ first success. Their second was the seizure soon afterwards of the main Austrian RAVAG studios in the Johannesgasse from where, at lunch-time, they managed to broadcast a brief message announcing the “resignation” of Dollfuss and the appointment of Dr. Rintelen as his successor.

    The Putsch fizzled out on that day and the Austria of the “Fatherland Front” survived to live another four years before being gobbled up by the rather more mean dictatorship from the north.

    In the Hausarchiv: Wiener Zeitung, 13 November 1945

    In the Hausarchiv: Wiener Zeitung, 13 November 1945

    Amateur history nerd that I am, I’m quite pleased to have married into a family which has retained all sorts of books, newspapers and magazines dating from about 1920 onwards. The “In the Hausarchiv” series gives an occasional look at the things I’ve come across in our own “house archive”.

    Today’s “In the Hausarchiv” features the Tuesday, 13 November 1945, edition of the Viennese newspaper the Wiener Zeitung. We have a bunch of issues of this newspaper in the Hausarchiv; the earliest I’ve found so far is from 4 November 1945.

    Today I set out on a special mission in my quest to find a topic for the Hausarchiv series: find the earliest mention — amongst the stack ofWiener Zeitung editions that we have — of the scope of the killing of Jews under National Socialism. It didn’t take long. As I mentioned, the oldest edition we have is from 4 November 1945, and I found within the 13 November 1945 edition the following quote:

    3 Millionen jüdische Frauen und Kinder wurden von deutscher Hand erschossen oder starben den Tod in den Gaskammern.

    3 million jewish woman and children were shot by German hands or perished in the gas chambers. [my translation]

    An article titled “Die unverschämste Propagandalüge” (“The most shameless propaganda lie”) contains the quote. The shameless lie it speaks of is: “Wenn der Führer das wüßte” (“If only the Führerknew”). The idea here is that apologists for Hitler were (and are!) fond of saying that the likes of Goebbels and Himmler tricked Hitler or hid the truth from him. “If only the Führer knew”, then he would have put a stop to the barbarity! The article scorns this view and tells of one Eugen Kumming, a former head translator within the Wehrmacht, who had just written an article for the Sudetendeutschen Zeitung in which he mentions the 3 million “jewish women and children” referenced above. He also tells the following stories:

    Im April 1941 teilte ihm [Kumming] ein Oberstleutnant von Bodecker mit, daß SS-Verbände jüdische Frauen und Mädchen in Warschau zusammentrieben und sie nackt im 4. Stock eines Hotels eingesperrt hatten. Tagelang waren sie Opfer wiederholter Schändungen und wurden schließlich durch das Fenster auf die Straße geworfen. Ein Oberstleutnant Mauck berichtet, daß er gesehen habe, wie SS und SD-Angehörige über 1500 Juden bis zum Halse in einen Sumpf in der Nähe von Solotschew getrieben und sie dort als lebendige Zielscheibe benutzt hätten.

    A certain lieutenant-colonel von Bodecker told him [Kumming] in April 1941 that SS troops had rounded up some Jewish women and girls and locked them up, naked, on the fourth floor of a hotel in Warsaw. These women and girls were raped for days and then thrown out of windows on to the street. Another lieutenant-colonel, a certain Mauck, reported that he’d seen how SS and SD members in Solotschew had placed 1500 Jews up to their necks in a swamp and used them as live targets for practice.

    So why was I searching for the earliest mention of the Holocaust that I could find within our stack of Wiener Zeitung editions? Because David Irving has come out again from under his rock — this time actually invited, I’m sorry to report — and had the following to say about the alleged jewish manufacturing of “Holocaust”:

    Until the 1970s [the Holocaust] was just a speck of dust on the horizon … The proof is that it doesn’t appear in any of the biographies of the great leaders of the Second World War. But from then on it became fashionable. The Jews turned it into a brand, using the same technique as Goebbels. They invented a slogan… and repeated it ad nauseam.

    Now I realize he’s not exactly saying that nobody reported on mass extermination of Jews prior to the 1970s, but his suggestion that it wasn’t on the radar prior to then made me want to find the earliest mention of it that I could. And so I found it, printed in an Austrian newspaper just seven months after the defeat of Nazi Germany. Someone was apparently paying attention long before the 1970s.

    I’ll have a larger post about David Irving on Thursday. In the meantime, I’ll just say that it’s kind of an interesting coincidence that I found this particular article which, as I explained above, is centered around the lie of “If only the Führer knew”: a coincidence because David Irving, as you’ll see in my Thursday post, is guilty of precisely that lie.

    Stefan Zweig, “The World of Yesterday” (Book of the Week)

    Stefan Zweig, “The World of Yesterday” (Book of the Week)

    Some autobiographies manage to go beyond the subject’s own life and capture the very essence of an entire epoch. I consider The World of Yesterday (Amazon US, UK, CA, DE [eng], DE [deu]) at the top of any list of such autobiographies. I have certainly never read another that made me feel so connected to the times in which the author lived.

    Given the turmoil which the world saw during the span of Stefan Zweig’s life (1881-1942), we can say that he witnessed not just one but a handful of epochs. His generation “was loaded down with a burden of fate as was hardly any other in the course of history,” enduring as it did both World Wars. Zweig and his wife chose to no longer endure their fate as stateless, homeless refugees after he finished this book; they ended their lives together in Brazil in 1942 after sending off the manuscript to the publishers in New York.

    Zweig was born into what he calls the “World of Security”, the late Habsburg era during which one could theoretically plan out one’s life in the finest of detail. Each knew his position in that society. Families had budgets, incomes were pre-determined, everything was insured, risks were frowned upon. School — a topic to which he devotes an entire chapter — consisted of curricula so finely tuned that instructors could get through a year without learning the names of their students; they merely needed to repeat what they had done the previous year, and the year before that … with such consistency that they could do it with their heads down, practically avoiding the faces of individual pupils.

    Events would later prove just how fragile the security and confidence of that era were. The trauma of the First World War, followed by massive inflation and the unsteady inter-war years, and then the rise of Hitler and the outbreak of war in 1939 … Zweig experienced all of this, and, at the risk of sounding elitist, he did so not just as any ordinary person, but as an “international” intellectual with close friends in many of those countries which, ostensibly, would become “enemies”. His pan-European outlook, which permeates the book, provides a perspective on the events of that time which is quite different than, say, the perspective of a statesman or a general.

    Most importantly, Zweig pens his memoir as the same able storyteller who told so many other excellent stories, such as Beware of Pity, Letter from an Unknown Woman and The Invisible Collection, to name just the few that I have read.

    Given that I present a “Book of the Week” each week, I’ve got to be careful to not get into the habit of saying the following: You really must read this book. Please indulge me as I say it this week, because if there is any one book that I would recommend which covers the period from a personal perspective, it would be this one. I’ll let The New Republic have the last word:

    It is not so much a memoir of a life as it is the memento of an age, and the author seems, in his own phrase, to be the narrator at an illustrated lecture. The illustrations are provided by time, but his choice is brilliant and the narration is evocative. [From the back cover of the University of Nebraska Press edition of the book.]

    In the Hausarchiv: Vienna, Germany?

    In the Hausarchiv: Vienna, Germany?

    Vienna, GermanyAmateur history nerd that I am, I’m quite pleased to have married into a family which has retained all sorts of books, newspapers and magazines dating from about 1920 onwards. The “In the Hausarchiv” series gives an occasional look at the things I’ve come across in our own “house archive”.

    This week’s “In the Hausarchiv” presents a booklet full of attractive photos of the beautiful city in which I live, Vienna. Sounds nice, right? But this book is about Vienna, Germany! Is this the same Vienna I live in? Of course it is…

    At midnight on March 11, 1938, the last Austrian government of the first republic — that of Chancellor Kurt von Schuschnigg — resigned office and on March 12, 1938, German troops entered Austria without resistance.  In German this event is referred to as the Anschluss, or union.  Austria ceased to exist, and instead became the Eastern March (Ostmark) of the Greater German Empire (Großdeutsches Reich.)  During this period, until the fall of the National Socialist regime, the word “Austria” (Österreich) was out of favor (perhaps even illegal?), and to insist on using it was certainly to invite arrest.

    (The most famous visible sign of the Austrian Resistance to National Socialism, the “O5″ which appears to this day on one of the outside walls of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, signifies Österreich, or more accurately the alternative spelling of Oesterreich: the letter “O” followed by the number 5, signifying the fifth letter of the alphabet, “e”: Oesterreich).

    This “Wien, Deutschland” book featured here is from 1939, a year following the Anschluss.  The cover shows a drawing of part of the Schönbrunn Palace, looking out from the main part of the palace towards the gardens and the Glorietta (the structure on the hill.)

    The photo shown below, which also appears in this book, is of Vienna’s Rathaus. I’ve painstakingly blurred out every occurrence I could find of the swastika — and there were many — to be sure the image doesn’t show up on some other website which proudly features swastikas. The caption to the photo reads, “The Rathaus on 1. May of the year of the Liberation of the Ostmark.”

    Vienna Rathaus 1938

    In the Hausarchiv: Neues Oesterreich, 5 June 1945

    In the Hausarchiv: Neues Oesterreich, 5 June 1945

    Amateur history nerd that I am, I’m quite pleased to have married into a family which has retained all sorts of books, newspapers and magazines dating from about 1920 onwards.  The “In the Hausarchiv” series gives an occasional look at the things I’ve come across in our own “house archive”.

    Last Wednesday’s “In the Hausarchiv” featured a post-war edition of the Wiener Zeitung.  Today I do something similar by featuring the 5 June 1945 edition of “New Austria” (Neues Oesterreich), “the organ of democratic unification” (Organ der demokratischen Einigung).

    I believe this is the earliest post-war edition of a newspaper here in the Hausarchiv.  Given that this edition is numbered 38, one presumes it was being published as early as late April 1945, which would have been quite soon after the Red Army had entered Vienna (ca. 13 April 1945).

    Because the paper has no information concerning its publisher, and considering the moniker “organ of democratic unification”, I thought it safe to conclude that this was the newspaper published by the provisional government.  A visit to the online Austrian encyclopedia project, aeiou, confirmed this:

    Neues Österreich, first Austrian post-war newspaper set up on April 23, 1945 as the “voice of democratic agreement”. The Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP), the Austrian Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) and the Austrian Communist Party (KPÖ) were responsible for its contents …

    (You can see that their translation of “Organ der demokratischen Einigung” differs from the translation I came up with before finding their entry on the topic.  When in doubt, go with theirs not mine!)

    In this edition of Neues Oesterreich, the lead headline reads, “Mass murder in Graz: 143 unidentifiable corpses left behind by the Gestapo” (my translation).  The article concludes that these corpses belonged to prisoners held by the Gestapo and the SS and that, rather than being shown any mercy, these prisoners were simply murdered just before their captors fled from the approaching Red Army.  Only one body could be identified, that of Dr. Julia Pongracic.

    Most interesting from the historical perspective is the account of the speech by the governor of Styria (where Graz is located), given at the memorial service for these victims.  In the speech, the governor, Reinhold Machold, underscores Austrian resistance to National Socialism, as well he might do, given that the Soviets were occupying his part of Austria.  Compared to the occupation zones of the other three Allies, the Soviet zone was rather more punishing in the sense that the Red Army uprooted and physically moved to the Soviet Union much machinery and other equipment for industrial production.  After emphasizing Austrian resistance, Machold concludes:

    We would hope and plead that the victors [the Allies], for whom we are grateful for freeing us from this Nazi pest, shall keep this in mind as they decide the fate of our poor, plagued, tormented, unhappy Austrian Volk. [my translation]

    (Wir wollen hoffen und wir bitten darum, daß die Sieger, denen wir dankbar dafür sind, daß die uns von dieser nazistischen Pest befreit haben, dies bedenken und in Rechnung stellen mögen, wenn sie endgültig über das Schicksal unseres armen, geplagten und gepeinigten, unglücklichen österreichischen Volkes entscheiden werden.)

    The question of seeing Austrians as Mittäter oder Opfer (perpetrators or victims) is a big one, and one which I will no doubt write about here someday.

    In the Hausarchiv: Wiener Zeitung, 4 November 1945

    In the Hausarchiv: Wiener Zeitung, 4 November 1945

    Amateur history nerd that I am, I’m quite pleased to have married into a family which has retained all sorts of books, newspapers and magazines dating from about 1920 onwards.  The “In the Hausarchiv” series gives an occasional look at the things I’ve come across in our own “house archive”.

    Today’s “In the Hausarchiv” features the Sunday, 4 November 1945, edition of the newspaper the Wiener Zeitung.  The lead article’s headline reads “Bardossy war der Verräter” (“Bardossy was the betrayer”).  It concerns the trial in Budapest of the former Hungarian Prime Minister Laszlo Bardossy, later convicted of war crimes and then executed in 1946.

    Reading through the article, I was surprised at how condemnatory it seemed for something written on just the second day of the trial.  You can see that from the headline alone, but also within the text, with passages such as “[Bardossy] did everything within his power to quash any remaining vestiges of Hungary’s independence and force it to become  a vassal of the Germans.” (My translation.)  The article purports to report on Bardossy’s testimony, yet I imagine Bardossy came nowhere near describing his own actions with such self-condemnation.

    But of course the tone of the article is not that surprising when we remember that these were still the early months of the occupation of Austria by the Soviets, the Americans, the British and the French.  The Soviets, in particular, would have been most interested in portraying a Hungarian fascist in this way.   Only later did I realize the byline of the article reads “TASS”, the Soviet news agency.  You can see “TASS” in the photo accompanying this entry.  I simply didn’t notice it when I first read the article.

    One other very short article caught my eye.  I assume the article, which is rather anecdotal and offers no information as to the date of its events, describes an event that happened before the end of the war and therefore while the National Socialists were still in power.  A certain August Herat, lorry driver, turned down cash and instead accepted 10 sacks of potatoes, 450 kg of peas, and some pork fat for transporting potatoes for Marie Baburek, who owned a stand at the Naschmarkt.   During his trip he also received a goose and 6 liters of wine.  But bad luck: Ms Baburek decided to snitch on him for this obvious violation of wartime commerce laws.  The unlucky Mr. Herat was fined 200 Reichsmark (which is why I assume this occurred during the National Socialist regime — though perhaps the Reichsmark were still in circulation in November 1945 as new currency was awaited?) and sentenced to six months in prison.

    Fun with the CIA Archives

    Fun with the CIA Archives

    History nerds love archival material and celebrate the fact that more and more becomes available digitally on the web. In addition to the U.S. State Department Office of the Historian and the excellent UK National Archives, both of which I will discuss one day soon, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) search site contains lots of useful information for professional and amateur historians alike.

    The earliest mention of Austria which I came across at the site is contained within a February 1947 report by the Central Intelligence Group (the establishment of the Central Intelligence Agency would be signed into law later in the year) concerning the “Situation in Austria” (document id: NARA # NN3-263-92-005). If you don’t know much about the immediate post-WWII years in Austria, I can recommend it as a subject for study. While most attention was focused on Germany and especially Berlin, Austria was also experiencing quite an interesting time from a historical perspective. The battle lines of the cold war in Germany were fairly clear. In Austria, however, the situation was more uncertain.

    Whither Austria? Within whose sphere of influence would Austria find itself? The countries to its east were completely occupied by the Soviets, whereas Austria was being governed by the four allied countries: the U.S., the U.K., France and the U.S.S.R. So too was Germany, but Germany was large enough to consider it feasible to partition between west and east. Austria was simply too small. Because it was also important to ensure that Austria not remain dependent on Germany (which had annexed it in 1938), the country needed to be large enough to be self-sustaining and have normal trade relations with multiple countries, not just Germany.

    With that context in mind, the CIA report mentioned and linked-to above makes interesting reading. Of course it is only one agency’s assessment of what was happening in the Austria of 1947 and therefore should be considered as one piece of research, not the definitive story.

    Here are a few excerpts of the report to whet your appetite:

    The four occupying powers have recognized a coalition government in Austria which was formed after the national elections of November 1945.  The authority of the government is still limited by the conditions of four-power occupation and particularly by the hostile attitude of the USSR.


    The USSR desires an Austrian regime subservient to Soviet policy.  Unsuccessful in its attempts to influence the Austrian Government by infiltration and intimidation, the USSR has concentrated on establishing control over the Austrian economy.  The USSR has implemented its policy in Austria by propaganda aimed at discrediting the government and by actions designed to disrupt its political and economic authority.  In order to further their economic aims, the Soviets have removed industrial machinery on a large scale, seized industrial assets, and forced factories to produce for the USSR. [Page 2]

    Joseph Roth, “The Wandering Jews”

    Joseph Roth, “The Wandering Jews”

    Joseph Roth’s The Wandering Jews (Amazon US, UK, CA, DE-German/DE-English).

    Joseph Roth is best known for his fiction, particularly Radetzkymarsch (Amazon US, UK, CA, DE-German/DE-English), but in fact he spent most of his working life as a journalist and feuilletonist.  (Roth’s biography is a fascinating one; start with Wikipedia (EN, DE) and explore from there.)  The Wandering Jews is a non-fiction work and details Roth’s findings from his trips through European jewish communities.  It presents the “Eastern Jew” and describes his plight in the west.

    It is a particularly interesting book because though we know it must have had personal meaning to Roth, nowhere does he confess this.  Translator Michael Hofmann makes this point in his preface by pointing out that Roth himself is “everywhere and nowhere” in the book, “chiefly nowhere”.

    We don’t know that the little cruciform town in the swampy plains … is Roth’s birthplace, the town of Brody in Galicia; that the Western momentum of the book … was also that of his life; that he had himself been through Vienna and Berlin, and at the time of writing, was in Paris (where he felt happiest); that his father-in-law was an installment seller in Vienna, his uncle a tailor, and his grandfather a rabbi.  Finally, nowhere does he even say he is a Jew! [xvii]

    Let us end here simply by recommending the book as a fine example of the kind of quality non-fiction produced by a talented feuilletonist of 1920s Europe.  And allow me to indulge myself with a quotation concerning the city where I live:

    In a Jewish welfare office the Eastern Jew often finds himself treated no better by his coreligionists or fellow nationals than by Christians.  It is terribly hard to be an Eastern Jew; there is no harder lot than that of the Eastern Jew newly arrived in Vienna. [57]

    (Page numbers refer to the Granta Books 2001 paperback edition.)

    (The photo accompanying this article is a public domain photo found at and described as “Lakhva in 1926 (then Łachwa, Poland), ulica Lubaczyńska (Lubaczynska Street)”.)

    Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance

    Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance

    Have a look at a very nice Austrian history resource, the Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance (Dokumentationsarchiv des österreichischen Widerstands [DoeW]).  As the name implies, the emphasis is on the history of fascism in Austria, particularly National Socialism and its victims.  Additionally, the Centre keeps tabs on modern-day Austrian right-wing activity.

    Their english section contains a fair amount of content (click “english” on the left-side navigation when you get there), but of course the german content is more complete.

    One of the more interesting sections of the DoeW’s site is the victim database, actually a collection of two databases, the first containing Gestapo arrest records, the second the names of 62,000 Holocaust victims.  Both databases are searchable by name.  The Gestapo search even contains an option to search by victim group.  For example, you can limit your search to Roma/Sinti arrestees.

    You will definitely want to have a look if your area of interest is the Holocaust period or modern right-wing extremism.

    Note: The photo accompanying this post comes directly from the Nicht mehr anonym project on the DoeW website.  The front page of that project shows random Gestapo victims (i.e., if you continue to refresh the page, you will see different victims each time).  This particular photo is described as follows:

    Emma Bauer, Wien
    Geboren am 28. Jänner 1889

    Weil sie sich “wiederholt in abträglicher Weise über den Ausgang des Krieges” äußerte, wurde Emma Bauer am 21. 5. 1943 festgenommen. Gegen sie wurde Schutzhaft beantragt.

    The reason given for her arrest is that she continuously made disparaging remarks about the outcome of the war.  At the time of her arrest she would have been 54 years old.