Nationalfund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism

Findbuch for Victims of National Socialism

Life Stories

Supporting projects

Austrian exhibition at Auschwitz

Entrance of the Austrian exhibition in Auschwitz

Art Database of the National Fund

Art Database

New Publication

Volume 6 of the series Decisions of the Arbitration Panel

Life Stories - Autobiographical Recollections

It is very important for the National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism to encourage society to come to terms with the events and consequences of the years of National Socialist rule in Austria. By recording life stories, the years 1938 to 1945 in Austria are documented from the victims' perspective. more...

Ilse Nusbaum shortly before leaving the country in 1938. (c) Private Collection Ilse Nusbaum

My father's dissertation

Ilse Nusbaum Ilse Nusbaum was born in Austria in 1933. She lived with her parents and her grandmother in Eisenstadt and had to leave Austria after the "Anschluss". more...

A German infantry company crosses a engineer bridge a few kilometers before the Finnish-Soviet border during the march on Salla, 17th July 1941. (c) ÖNB

... we didn't want to have anything to do with this war

Gottfried A. Gottfried A. was born in 1920 in a small Styrian village near Leoben. His father was harassed and persecuted as early as the era of Austrofascism due to his Social Democratic views, which affected the whole family. more...

Edith Jayne in the USA, 1942. (c) Private Collection Edith Jayne

Life Story

Edith Jayne Edith Jayne was born on 9 June 1936 in Vienna. As her father was Jewish the family had to flee Austria in 1938. They managed to go to Portugal and there the family stayed until May 1941 when they emigrated to the USA. Today Edith Jayne lives in Great Britain. In 1998 Edith Jayne wrote a letter to the National Fund about her life story. more...

Felice Mathur with her grandfather - the father of her father.  (c) Private Collection Felice Mathur

The luckier one

Felice Mathur Felice Mathur was born in 1920 in Vienna. Her father was Jewish. In 1939 she left Austria for Great Britain. Her father and her younger sister Grete perished in the Holocaust. Her mother died from cancer during the war. Today Mrs. Mathur lives in India. The following text is a letter written by Felice Mathur to the National Fund. more...

Adolf Papai with his dog in March 2010. (c) Walter Reichl

If it had lasted another year, there would have been none of us left

Adolf Papai Adolf Papai was born on 28th June 1931 in Langental in central Burgenland, where around 350 Roma lived in great poverty. Less than one third of them survived the National Socialist era. Together with many other Roma from Langental, Mr. Papai's father was deported to Buchenwald and murdered. Mr. Papai himself and his mother and siblings were put in the Lackenbach camp. more...

Two members of the Wehrmacht cutting up a slaughtered pig, 1941. (c) ÖNB / Heydecker

I was so terrified, I couldn't speak

Bartholomäus O. The Carinthian Slovene Bartholomäus O. was born in 1936, the fifth of eight children. His parents owned a small farm. His father also had to work as a forestry worker to supplement their income. more...

Kurt Flussmann, June 2009. (c) National Fund

Stations of my life

Kurt Flussmann Kurt Flussmann was born on 19th January 1923 in Vienna. In January 1939, he arrived in Great Britain on a Kindertransport. In 1940, he was deported from Britain to Australia as an "enemy alien". more...

Two men attempting to extinguish a burning bombed-out building in Vienna on 24th August 1944. (c) VGA

For we were asocials

Ingeborg R. Ingeborg R. was born in Vienna in 1932, the child of a Catholic mother and a Jewish father. Although Ingeborg R.'s mother divorced her husband in 1935, she continued to live with him. more...

Certificate of Identity for the Ehrenhaft Family, London, January 1939. (c) Peter Ehrenhaft

Transcript of the Oral History of the Ehrenhaft Family

Peter and George Ehrenhaft In September and October 2009 Frank Gregorsky, a professional preparer of oral histories, recorded interviews with Peter and George Ehrenhaft on the history of their family. Selected excerpts of these interviews are presented here. The complete interviews are preserved at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, in oral recorded form, and selected portions are available in print form. more...

From left to right: Helena (grandmother), Israel (uncle), Isaac (uncle), Vladimir (father), Baruch (grandfather), Damas 1910 (c) Lydia Pais Rey

... the Germans were following us ...

Lydia Pais Rey Lydia Pais Rey was born in Vienna on 29th October 1934. At the age of four she and the whole family had to leave everything behind. more...

Kindergarten, about 1939. A picture of Adolf Hitler in the background. (c) ÖNB

A life-long sense of alienation

Henry Steiner Henry Steiner was born on 13th February, 1934 in Baden bei Wien. His father Max was a dentist and his mother Lillie a dressmaker. They managed to escape to the USA in 1939. Today Mr. Steiner lives in Hong Kong. more...

House of the grandparents of Peter Fleischl in Gersthoferstraße 131 in Vienna. (c)

Peter Berdach, later known as Peter Fleischl

Peter Fleischl Peter Fleischl was born in August 1926 in Vienna. In August 1938 he fled with his mother and his adoptive father first to Italy and then to Switzerland, where they could obtain an immigrant visa for New Zealand, where Dr. Fleischl still lives today. more...

BDM-Girls doing the Hitler salute. (c) ÖNB

When they took me away it was terrible

Hermine Liska Hermine Liska was born on 12th April 1930 in Carinthia as the youngest of five children. Until 1938, she had a carefree life on a farm with her four brothers and her parents. The family were Jehovah's Witnesses and soon after the "Anschluss" they came under increasing pressure as a result of their religious convictions. more...

Mark Abramowicz, 2011. (c) Mark Abramowicz

You know, these are difficult times ...

Mark Abramowicz Some time after the "Anschluss", between May and September of 1938, three or four young men in uniform (I think I remember seeing them standing in the doorway, even though I was only three years old) came to our apartment and told us we would have to leave it, because a Nazi doctor was taking over the apartment and my father's practice. more...

Leslie Gelb as a baby, about 1918. (c) Barbara Gelb

The Life and Times of Leslie Gelb

Ladislaus Gelb Shortly before Ladislaus Gelb died he was interviewed by some individuals who were interested in his life story. The result is a wonderful story written by Jonathan Soles and Ruth-Ellen Soles (Toronto, Canada). more...

Koloman Baranyai 1968 (c) Verein Roma-Service

Today they are taking the Roma away …

Koloman Baranyai Koloman Baranyai was born on 31st March 1941 in Katzelsdorf/Niederösterreich. His family belonged to the Roma community. more...

Johann Kežar (left) with his siblings, 1942. (c) Daniela Kežar

Our area was called "bandit-land"

Johann Kežar Johann Kežar was a member of the Carinthian Slovene Community and was born on 23rd September 1928 in Horzach/Horce, Carinthia. more...

 (c) Alfred Traum

Three Essays

Alfred Traum Alfred Traum who had to leave Vienna at the age of ten on a Kindertransport, describes in his essays some memories of his childhood - the last Sabbath meal before leaving, his interest in the neighbour's gasmask, the farewell and the return as a tank commander with the Royal Scots Greys. more...

Passport issued to Alfred Traum prior to his departure from Vienna on a Kindertransport. (c) Alfred Traum

Our livelihood was taken from us

Alfred Traum Alfred Traum was born in March 1929 in Vienna into a traditional Jewish family. On June 20, 1939, ten year old Freddie had to leave for England with his older sister on a "Kindertransport". They lived with a Christian family during the first years in exile. more...