Gestapo and the Persecution of Jews

Arrested Viennese Jews (photo: DÖW)

Viennese Jews arrested immediately following the "Anschluss" in a cell at the Vienna Regional Court. (Photo: DÖW)



Department II/IV of the Gestapo Headquarters was responsible for all police procedures and actions in connection with persons who were considered Jews according to the "Nuremberg Laws." It persecuted violations of the numerous regulations and decrees whose purpose it was to rob as well as to ostracize and boycott the Jewish population.


In the months between the "Anschluss" and the onset of war, the Gestapo arrested thousands of Austrian Jews and detained them in various concentration camps. These mass arrests were intended to expedite the expulsion of the Jewish population, which was carried out or organized by the "Central Office for Jewish Emigration."


Among the Gestapo's agendas was apart from the confiscation and utilization of mainly movable Jewish property (e.g., cars, art works, or furniture) also the monitoring of the Jewish Community (IKG).


Gestapo Vienna, May 1938Gestapo Vienna, May 1938



In May 1938, the Gestapo Vienna arrested several hundred Jews and detained them in the Dachau concentration camp. In 1938/39, those Jewish prisoners who had not been arrested also for political reasons and were able to show that they had an emigration option, were still released from Gestapo arrest or from the concentration camp.

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In 1940, the Gestapo Vienna established a special office ("Vugesta") to enable the profitable sale of confiscated property of those expelled or deported.

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