On February 24, 2021, the “Jewish Central Archive” of Burgenland was transferred from the Provincial Archives in Eisenstadt to the Archives of the Jewish Community (IKG) in Vienna. In total, there are 459 archive cartons with documents of the former seven Jewish religious communities of Burgenland, the Sheva Kehilot, whose legal successor is the IKG Vienna.
After President Oskar Deutsch and Governor Hans Peter Doskozil signed the takeover agreement in Eisenstadt on November 10, 2020, the physical takeover of the “Jewish Central Archive” took place in its entirety on February 24, 2021. Thus, the IKG Vienna has come a big step closer to its goal of rebuilding the archive of the IKG Vienna.
President Oskar Deutsch expresses his gratitude to the Province of Burgenland for the fact that the total holdings, comprising 459 archive slipcases, have been preserved and safely stored to this day.
The Department of Archives will professionally house the thousands of documents of the “Jewish Central Archive” and make them accessible according to archival standards. In the near future, the findings will be made available to researchers and interested members of the public in the archive database.
The digitization of the holdings is being funded by the Province of Burgenland, the Future Fund, the National Fund, the Cultural Department of MA 7 and the United States Holocaust Museum and can begin in the next two to three weeks.
The documents as such represent a unique, cultural heritage and play an essential role for the individual and collective memory of Burgenland. This is especially true in light of the fact that only a few fragments of Jewish life remained in Burgenland after the expulsion of Burgenland’s Jews following the Anschluss in March 1938.
In the future, the IKG Vienna and the Province of Burgenland will cooperate more closely in the scientific and cultural fields. Top priority will be given to the promotion and communication of newly gained knowledge on the history of the Jewish communities of Burgenland at all levels.
Essentially, the holdings include official correspondence, documents on landed estates, community board files, board minutes, decrees of the (chief) chair judge, official notices, probate files, matriculation-related documents, documents on religious matters, school matters, tax matters, militaria, as well as written material from Jewish associations and private individuals. The time frame of the archival documents extends from about 1718 to 1938. Some of the documents are written in cursive script, others in printed and written script in German, Hungarian, Hebrew/Yiddish (in some cases also in Latin and Croatian).