Archives of the Holocaust Victims' Information and Support Center (HVISC) for Jewish Holocaust Survivors in and from Austria and their Heirs (Anlaufstelle des International Steering Committee für jüdische NS-Verfolgte in und aus Österreich)
The Holocaust Victims' Information and Support Center (HVISC) in Vienna is "a political body representing Jewish Nazi victims and their heirs". It was set up in July 1999 by the Federation of Jewish Communities in Austria in conjunction with the Committee for Jewish Claims on Austria, the Council of Jews from Austria in Israel and the American Council for Equal Compensation of Nazi Victims from Austria. It has a support and advisory role and does not provide legal representation or administer restitution funds. Its services are provided free of charge unless otherwise agreed.
The Support Center transferred the archival depot of the Jewish Community in Vienna (IKG Wien) to the HVISC premises in several stages between January 2001 and April 2002 and created a basic inventory of the material. Although a report on the reorganisation of the archives was published as a CD-ROM in 2001, a new version of the CD-ROM was planned for late 2003, which was to include information on archives in Jerusalem relating to the Viennese Jewish Community and document the HVISC's archival microfilming project (see below).
The HVISC archives now hold all known records of the Jewish Community in Vienna between 1938 and 1945 and a comprehensive collection of records on restitution issues. The archives also hold the complete records of the 'Mauerbach' Fund, an extensive collection of press cuttings on confiscations and restitution. They store copies of relevant archival materials from other institutions such as the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People (CAHJP) in Israel, the Jewish Community's Special Archive in Moscow and the Albert Loewy estate.
Provisional facilities for researchers have been set up in the archives. These cater primarily for researchers of the Documentation Centre of the Austrian Resistance (DÖW) and the General Settlement Fund and, until recently, the Austrian Historians' Commission. However, accredited researchers are also allowed access to most of the material.
USHMM Microfilming Project
Between March 2002 and December 2002 the Archives co-operated with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) on a large-scale inventory and microfilming project. The USHMM financed the photographing of most of the archives' materials and the detailed preparatory sorting and inventory work. The HVISC will receive a copy of each roll of film and unlimited access to the USHMM's open archival resources.
Database on archival resources on National Socialism in Austria
Systematic research by the HVISC, the Historians' Commission and the Commission for Provenance research has in recent years brought to light many resources relating to the Nazi regime in Austria. The HVISC is currently working on a project to make information on these archival resources more widely accessible. The concept was developed jointly with the Commission for Provenance Research and the Austrian State Archive. All information available on relevant archival collections is to be included, such as provenance, history and strengths of a collection, search aides, current location, accessibility and user restrictions, visitor information, and literature. The emphasis will be on the Nazi confiscation of assets and on restitution, although the database will also go beyond these issues. A keyword system has been developed to allow researchers and claimants independently to search for relevant archival holdings. A public presentation of the Internet Database is planned for the near future. The Jewish Community is inviting Federal and Provincial Archives to cooperate by recording their collections. At the same time, researchers working as part of or independently from the various commissions are encouraged to contribute their expertise.
Holocaust Victims' Information and Support Center (HVISC)
Desider Friedmann-Platz 1
Tel.: + 43 (0)1 531 04 201 or 202
Fax: +43 (0)1 531 04 219
<http://www.restitution.or.at>, first accessed 11 March 2003. Link updated 4 July 2007
Erika Jakubovits, 'Auf dem "Schlussstrich" Die Tätigkeit der Anlaufstelle seit ihrer Gründung', Die Gemeinde: offizielles Organ der Israelitischen Kultusgemeinde Wien, 452 (October 2002), 5-10, accessed 11 March 2003. This article is no longer online.
Central Registry Archives, Correspondence, 20 March 2003