Page Ten

Flight of Austrian Jews

Austria under Nazi rule was a nightmare for Jews. A previously unknown SS officer, Adolf Eichmann, was put in charge of the Central Bureau for Emigration in Vienna shortly after the Anschluss. Using violence, terror, deceit, blackmail, and the threat of concentration camp confinement, Eichmann’s task was to expel all Jews from Austria while confiscating all their money and property. No country in the world wanted to shelter the Jews, so each one had the problem of securing the required emigration documents. After the November 1938 Kristallnacht pogrom, Eichmann imprisoned the remaining Jews in concentration camps to increase pressure on them to leave. By the time war broke out in the fall of 1939, 126,445 Austrian Jews had emigrated.

Pictured Above and Below: In a March 28, 1939, surface letter to the United States, Robert Rosenfeld sent a desperate appeal for assistance to his Chicago relative.

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