Depot of Movables
 8 cases
  Hugo Breitner
  Viktor Ephrussi
  Wilhelm Goldenberg
  Moritz König
  Oskar Pöller
  Hedwig Schwarz
  Emil Stiaßny
  Paul Weiß


 Press release
 Press photographs
 Exhibition team

Eight 'Aryanisations'. An overview

In Vienna alone, the number of apartments of Jewish citizens that were "Aryanised" in 1938 is estimated at 70,000: confiscated by the secret state police ("Gestapo") or looted in an uncontrolled way. Those who lived in these apartments were persecuted on racial grounds and were forced to leave, driven out of their homes or deported.

Furnishings from eight households which were seized by the "Gestapo" were stored in the Depot of Movables. The officials who carried out these confiscations prepared accurate lists of all objects, in some cases immediately in the apartments. Room for room, furniture, paintings, carpets and table services were recorded in detail; private objects of daily life - such as a doll on a couch, a morning gown, a car jacket, or a private photograph on a wall - were also listed. Objects stated as being of "no value" - like underwear, table and bed linen, kitchen utensils, pillows and blankets - were entered into the lists but immediately given to the Nazi public welfare organisation. Works of art and books were handed over to museums and libraries. From 1939 onwards, 575 pieces of furniture and equipment from "Aryanised" households were entered into the inventory of the Depot of Movables and thus the state officially took possession of these objects.

From the 18th century onwards, the Depot of Movables fulfilled the function of furnishing Imperial palaces and offices. Since 1918, it performed the same function for government offices and embassies of the Republic of Austria. From 1939 onwards, in addition to the former Imperial furnishings, the Depot of Movables also used "Aryanised" pieces of furniture. They were rented out to private individuals and associations, and lent to offices of the Nazi regime. These objects were also used to furnish offices and apartments of Nazi leaders. About eighty "Aryanised" objects which were listed in the inventory were sold before 1945.

After 1945, the Depot of Movables failed to comply with its legal obligation to notify the authorities of the confiscated property administered by it. Therefore it was almost impossible for the owners to find their pieces of furniture again. Only two of the victims made claims for restitution. The restitutions remained incomplete. The remaining furniture continued to be used in offices or was left in the depot.

Over the past few years, the old files and inventory records have been examined carefully. Destruction during the war and use in offices over several decades had reduced the number of objects to 152. These furniture, paintings and carpets are now ready to be returned to the heirs. However, for the furnishings of two of the eight "Aryanised" apartments, the rightful owners have not yet been found. The search for them will continue.




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