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

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'Aryanisation'
 
 


is the term used to refer to the expropriation of Jewish property on racial grounds in the Nazi era. After the "Anschluss" - the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany - in March 1938, also Jews in Austria were victims of the persecution policy pursued by the Nazis. At present, these events are again the subject of public discussions, especially in connection with spectacular cases of looted works of art. However, the looting organised by the state did not stop at objects of daily use in Jewish households in Vienna: cutlery from kitchen drawers or photographs on walls - nothing was safe.

Seized for the benefit of the Austrian state
This note appears in the files on the "Aryanisation" of eight Jewish households in Vienna whose furnishings were confiscated and stored in the state-owned Depot of Movables. These cases are the historical starting point of the exhibition. In 1938, about 5,000 objects were painstakingly listed, about 600 of them were entered in the inventory from 1939 onwards and thus the state took possession of these objects. Pieces of furniture from among these objects were lent - in conformity with the basic function of the Depot of Movables - to state offices and other borrowers. Until recently, such pieces of furniture were used in government offices or Austrian embassies abroad, without the new users being aware of where these objects came from.

Restitution
Only few pieces were restored to their owners after 1945. A few years ago, the Depot of Movables started to do research work on these objects. Since 1998, on the basis of the Austrian Federal Law on the Restitution of Works of Art, objects that are still available have been returned to the families of their former owners.

 

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