Guide to Walter Wohlfeiler papers 1988.1027

Finding aid prepared by Judith Janec
Tauber Holocaust Library
JFCS Holocaust Center
2245 Post Street
San Francisco, CA, 94115

Title: Walter Wohlfeiler papers
Identifier/Call Number: 1988.1027
Contributing Institution: Tauber Holocaust Library
Language of Material: German
Container: Archives Box 1
Physical Description: 0.2 Linear feet comprising two folders
Date: 1939-10-23
Abstract: The collection is comprised of documents relating to the deportation of Jews living in Vienna, Austria for Poland. It includes a cover letter, instructions for deportation, and blank forms that deportees were required to complete. Deportation order is dated October 27, 1939.
General Physical Description note: Documents are fragile.
Creator: Wohlfeiler family


Walter Wohlfeiler was born in Vienna, Austria in 1922, and died in San Francisco in 2008. Mr. Wohlfeiler fled Austria in 1939 with his mother, Theresa and sister, Gertrude. His father, Wilhelm, who had been deported to Nisko, was murdered in 1942. Mr. Wohlfeiler practiced accountancy for over 40 years. He was married three times and had two sons and six stepchildren.

Historical Note

Austria was annexed to Nazi Germany in March 1939. Jewish citizens of Austria were then subject to Germany's racial laws, deprivation of rights, persecution, confiscation of property and marginalization. Nearly half of Austria's Jewish population emigrated prior to the outbreak of war in September 1939. Deportations of the Viennese Jewish population began in the autumn of 1939 when some 1,500 Jews from Vienna were deported to a detention camp in Nisko, Poland.
Two transports from Vienna to Nisko, Poland were run, the first on 10 October 1939, with 912, and the second on 26 October 1939, with 672 men on board. Only a small proportion of those deported from Vienna to Nisko, about 200 men, ever reached this camp; the majority was chased over the German-Soviet demarcation line while warning shots were fired. Austrians who requested assistance in returning to Vienna were classified as unreliable by the Soviet authorities and transported to labor camps in Russia, from which only 67 men returned.
After the program was stopped, 198 of the men who had been held in Zarzecze (near Nisko) were sent back to Vienna in April 1940 – many of them again to be deported on later transports.

Preferred Citation note

Walter Wohlfeiler papers - 1988.1027, Tauber Holocaust Library - JFCS Holocaust Center, San Francisco, California

Conditions Governing Use note

There are no restrictions to use for this collection.

Conditions Governing Access note

There are no restrictions to access to this collection.

Scope and Contents note

The collection comprises documents relating to deportation of Jews from Vienna to the "Polish territories." A cover letter in the form of an announcement from the Istraelitische Kultusgemeinde (Jewish Cultural Organization) informs relatives of men who had been transported to Poland on October 20, 1939 and October 26, 1939 that they are scheduled for resettlement on a transport due to depart on October 31, 1939, and includes date and time they are required to appear. Also included are instructions for resettlement in Poland, specifying baggage type and size and recommended items to bring and other information pertinent to the deportation. The instructions enumerate conditions under which an exemption may be granted. Two blank forms are also included, which deportees were required to complete, requesting personal information about the individual, his or her livelihood, and compliance with regulations regarding surrender of passports and tax certificates. The documents are dated October 27, 1939.

Related Archival Materials note

See 1988-1369:Therese Wohlfeiler papers, and Walter Wohlfeiler oral history interview, OHP.8438.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Wohlfeiler, Walter
Jewish families -- Austria
Nisko (Poland)
Vienna (Austria)
World War, 1939-1945 -- Deportations from Austria
World War, 1939-1945 -- Vienna