Historical Background

In 1938, some 170,000 Jews lived in Vienna, as well as several tens of thousands of people of mixed Jewish origing. In March 1938, Nazi Germany incorporated Austria, which with wide popular support became a part of the Third Reich. Soon after Austria erupted in a frenzy of street violence against Jews. Anti-Jewish legistlation was quicky enacted, Jews were excluded from economic, social and cultural life, and their property was confiscated.

After the “Anschluss”, Adolf Eichmann established a Central Office for Jewish Emigration in Vienna. After his arrival in Vienna on March 15, Eichmann reorganized the Jewish community according to his approach which sought to force Jewish emigration. The ‘Central Office for Jewish Emigration’ purpose was to create a system whereby Jews who wished to leave could make all arrangements at one location. The violent atmosphere, combined with the elimination of bureaucratic red tape, induced one-half of Austria’s Jews to emigrate penniless within half a year. Eichmann’s methods and policies would later serve as a model for activity in Germany itself. By May 17, 1939, nearly half of Austria's entire Jewish population had emigrated, leaving only approximately 121,000 Jews in Austria.

Systematic mass deportations from Vienna began in the autumn of 1939 when, on Eichmann's orders, SS and police officials deported some 1,500 to a detention camp in Nisko, Poland. In the autumn of 1941 the Germans began to  deport the Jews from Vienna to ghettos in occupied Poland and the Soviet Union where they were murdered, and to Theresienstadt. Some Jews remained in hiding. Many of the others still in Vienna were persons married to non-Jews.

In 1944, the Germans, assisted by Hungarian gendarmes, deported tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews to Austria to perform forced labor. 
Soviet forces liberated Vienna on April 4, 1945. 

All in all, close to 50,000  Austrian Jews were deported to the East.