Front cover image for Instanzen der Ohnmacht : Wien 1938-1945 : der Weg zum Judenrat

Instanzen der Ohnmacht : Wien 1938-1945 : der Weg zum Judenrat

Describes the functioning of the Israelitische Kultusgemeinde (IKG) in Vienna, the first Judenrat and Eichmann's model for the Jewish councils, and attempts to understand its cooperation with the Nazis. Immediately after the Anschluss, the Nazis dispersed the IKG and ousted its officers; a few months later they reconstituted it with Josef Löwenherz at its head. The IKG became a mere channel for the orders of Eichmann's Zentralstelle für jüdische Auswanderung and the Gestapo. Löwenherz and his staff were under constant pressure; Eichmann and his men systematically humiliated and threatened them in order to break all resistance. The IKG believed that the punctilious observance of discipline could enable it to save Jews as well as continue to carry out its welfare functions. Especially feared and hated for his ruthless enforcement of this policy was Löwenherz's deputy Benjamin Murmelstein, later the last "Judenälteste" in Theresienstadt. Until 1941 the IKG helped the majority of Vienna's Jews to emigrate. Then came the deportations. The lists of Jews to be deported were drawn up by the Nazis; the IKG had no influence on them, but it had to provide staff for their implementation. The fate of those deported became known to the IKG only in 1943. The Jews of Vienna did not realize the helplessness of the IKG; they blamed it, rather than the Nazis, for refusing their desperate pleas for help and for the selections for deportation. (From the Bibliography of the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism)
Print Book, German, 2000
Jüdischer, Frankfurt am Main, 2000