Appeal For The Renewal of
Religious Services in Vienna
(March 8, 1939)
Letter to the Central Office for Jewish Emigration, the Gestapo Headquarters and the Commissar for the Aryanization:
Up to March 11, 1938, there were in Vienna 23 synagogues in their own buildings, and 70 prayer houses in smaller premises. In all these premises religious services were held regularly twice a day, and were attended by all sectors of the Jewish population of Vienna.
After the reorganization of the situation, the Community Synagogue of Vienna-Floridsdorf was occupied by Nazi Party organs, while 31 prayer houses were disbanded by the Commissar for the Aryanization of clubs, associations and organizations. Religious services were held as before in all other synagogues.
Since all synagogues existing in Vienna on November 10, 1938, were withdrawn from their [normal] purpose, the lack of a religious service has become painfully noticeable among the Jews living in Vienna. Even if the main aim of the Jewish population is emigration, and the means of survival until the time of their departure, it would still be of great importance to make at least some public religious services available once more to the Jews living in Vienna. The provision of religious services would not only help to satisfy the religious requirements of the Jewish population, but also create an opportunity for the Jewish Community to transmit directly important announcements by order of the Authorities, or of importance for emigration, as used to be the practice.
We therefore beg that it be permitted to hold religious services in the auditorium of the Community House I, 4 Seitenstetten Street; in the auditorium of the Community House II, 3 Tempel Street; and in the Hall [District] XX, 35 Denis Street.
The General Director
[Dr. Josef Israel] Loewenherz,
Head of the Jewish Community, Vienna
The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People, A/W165,3.
Source: Yad Vashem