Home Contact Us
Index Purchase Info
About Site About Us
Appendices Credits
Further Reading Links
Special Features
By Keyword:

Page Number:
Click on an image to see a larger, more detailed picture.
1938: The End of Illusions
 pg. 127 
Immediately after the Anschluss in March 1938, the Nazis moved to seize control of the Jewish community in Vienna. Standing outside the Ministry of the Interior on March 18, Adolf Eichmann (left background, facing camera) and the SS prepare for a raid on Jewish offices. Eichmann and his men intimidated community leaders and established a climate of fear to spur emigration. German antisemitic laws were now applied to Austria, and Jewish organizations and congregations were abolished.
Photo: Dokumentationsarchiv des Österreichischen Widerstandes/United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive
Enthusiastic participants in a wheelbarrow race, these members of the Hitler Youth demonstrate the pro-Nazi sentiment of many Austrians after the Anschluss. While these young people were frolicking, others were finding the parks of Vienna far less hospitable. On April 23 numerous Jews were rounded up on the Sabbath and forced to eat grass at the Prater, Vienna's famous amusement park. Some suffered heart attacks and a few died from the ordeal.
Photo: Popperfoto/Archive Photo
Fate of Austria's Jews

When the Germans annexed Austria on March 12, 1938, its 190,000 Jews came under the control of the Nazis. Attacks upon these unfortunate Jews began almost immediately, and the isolation and persecution of Jews, which happened over five years in Germany, took place in just a few months in Austria.

Jews were assaulted by Nazis on the street, and became subject to the infamous Nuremberg Laws. The Nazis also subjected Jews to numerous forms of humiliation. Jews had to run in circles until they collapsed, while some men had their beards publicly shaved. Many elderly Jews died as the result of heart attacks caused by their torment, and hundreds of others committed suicide rather than be subjected to Nazi oppression.

Germany's Aryanization of Jewish property also extended to the newly annexed region. Over the first few months after the Anschluss, for example, 78 of Vienna's 86 Jewish-owned banks fell into Aryan hands. By the end of the year, about two-thirds of the city's Jewish-owned apartments had been Aryanized.

The Nazis established concentration camps in Austria, among them the infamous Mauthausen, to confine their Jewish victims. More than a third of Austria's Jews died during the seven years of Nazi rule.

 April 5, 1938: Anti-Jewish riots spread across Poland.
 April 15, 1938: Jews are killed and injured during an antisemitic pogrom at Dabrowa Tarnowska, Poland.
 April 21, 1938: Germany issues a decree that effectively eliminates Jews from the nation's economy and provides for the seizure of Jewish assets.
 April 23, 1938: Jews in Vienna, Austria, are rounded up on the Sabbath by Nazis and forced to eat grass at the Prater, a local amusement park. Many of the victimized Jews suffer heart attacks and a few die.
 April 26, 1938: The German government demands that all Jews register with the authorities all real estate and other assets exceeding 5000 marks. This is the first step toward expropriation of Jewish property; that is, Aryanization, a process whereby the Reich government seizes Jewish property and auctions it off to gentiles.
1938: The End of Illusions
 pg. 127 
The Holocaust Chronicle
© 2009 Publications International, Ltd.