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Adolf Eichmann: Takes Control of Jewish Life in Austria

(May 8, 1938)

"Vienna – May 8, 1938 – Dear Herbert!*

Today I want to write you a little letter again. I have just been to all our sub-sections. I gave the people working there a general idea of the subject under discussion, which they received with appreciation for, after all, they had had no notion up to now. I hope that I will shortly be in possession of the Jewish year-books of all neighboring states, which I will then send you. I consider them an important aid. All Jewish organizations in Austria have been ordered to make out weekly reports. These will go to the appropriate experts in II 112 in each case, sub-sections and sections. The reports are to be divided into a report on the situation and a report on activities. They are due each week on a Monday in Vienna, and on the Thursday of each week in the provinces. I hope to be able to send you the first reports by tomorrow. The first issue of the Zionist Rundschau is to appear on the Friday of next week. I have had the manuscript sent to me and am on the boring job of censorship just now. You will of course get the newspaper, too. This will in time, up to a point, become "my paper." In any case I have got these gentlemen on the go, you may believe me. They are now already working very busily. I demanded an emigration figure of 20,000 Jews without means for the period from April 1, 1938, to May 1, 1939, of the Jewish Community and the Zionist Organization for Austria, and they promised me that they would keep to this....

Tomorrow I will again check on the offices of the Jewish Community and the Zionists. I do that at least once every week. They are completely in my hands here, they dare not take a step without checking with me first. That is the way it should be, because it gives better possibilities of control. We can save ourselves the creation of a fourth Jewish roof-organization similar to the Hilfsverein. I have instructed the Jewish Community to establish a central emigration office within the Community for all countries apart from Palestine. The preparatory work for this has already been set in motion. Just in quite basic lines the situation is now as follows: according to the Decree, Gauleiter Buerckel will deal with Aryanization, Jews in the economy, etc. The far more difficult business of getting the Jews to emigrate is the task of the SD. Now that the Jewish Community and the Jewish Association in Austria have been reorganized, their work is also aimed at emigration. I hope that with this I have put you in the picture again briefly....

Regards to all the comrades on II 112, your old Adolf."

The Attorney-General of the Government of Israel v. Adolf Eichmann,

Minutes of Session No. 18, Jerusalem, 1961.

* Herbert Hagen, Eichmann’s colleague in the Gestapo Department of Jewish Affairs.

Sources: Yad Vashem