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Adolf Eichmann: Report on Activity in Vienna

(August 1938)

To the Security Head Office
II 1 12

On 22 August 1938, the Central Office for Jewish Emigration in Vienna was established by orders of the Reich Commissioner for reunification of Austria with the Reich....

There were more and more instances in Vienna where Jews, eager to emigrate, had to stand in line for days and weeks to arrange the necessary paperwork for their emigration. Over that time there were many failures because of lack of organization and unqualified officials. This damaged our interest in forcing the Jews to emigrate from Austria.

A few additional remarks regarding the conversation between Obersturmfuehrer Eichmann and Hagen:

One of the problems with the emigration of Jews from Vienna is created by the activity of lawyers. Because of the complicated system, obtaining the necessary paperwork for a passport can take up to two or three months. For example, a certificate confirming that one does not have a criminal record may take 6-8 weeks to obtain. Rich Jews therefore employ Aryan lawyers to get the papers.

These lawyers manage to obtain favorable treatment by the authorities. They or their workers will come to an office with 20-30 applications and take up a great deal of the clerks time, while poor Jews are standing in the street in a line that hardly moves for days. This has caused only problems. First, it has enabled the rich Jews to leave the country without problem, while the poor Jews stayed behind—this is contrary to our interest. Furthermore, it is already being said abroad that obtaining a passport in Vienna costs RM 1,000. The lawyers take enormous sums for each passport, and the rich Jews pay willingly.

Since obtaining a passport by the Central Office for Emigration takes only up to 8 days (We get the certificate from the police within 48 hours), lawyers have already approached some of the government and party offices. They have lost good business since the creation of the Central Office. Furthermore, the Central Office has not arranged for separate hours for these lawyers—a fact which increases their bitterness.

The aim of the Central Office for Emigration is to force the poor Jews to emigrate and to make the rich ones leave only if a number of poor Jews, proportionate to the rich Jews capital, go as well.

Prior to the creation of the Central Office, papers and passports were provided without differentiation. The first Jew to come received documents, regardless of his emigration prospects. The result was that the papers would often expire while the Jews still had no possibility to emigrate. (the police document and the certificate of tax payment is good for only 4 weeks). These Jews had to go through the same process several times until they could emigrate. This caused heavy work loads for the authorities.

The Central Office for Emigration supplies the paperwork and passports only to those Jews who can emigrate. Many Jews hold visas that are valid for a limited time only. To prevent these visas from expiring, they are given top priority. The Jewish political organizations are looking for emigration possibilities for Jews. The period when Jews emigrated in groups is over, one has to concentrate on individual emigration. The Central Office prepares 200 Jews for emigration daily by supplying them with passports and supervising their departure....

Heil Hitler!

Sources: Yad Vashem Archive 051/OSO B1/70