New EHRI Online Edition | Von Wien ins Nirgendwo: Die Nisko-Deportationen

Von Wien ins Nirgendwo
Wednesday, 12 April, 2023

After the attack on Poland in September 1939, the Nazi leadership had the opportunity to deport Jews to conquered areas for the first time.

In the second half of October 1939, the Central Office for Jewish Emigration sent 1,500 Jewish men from Vienna to Nisko am San in Eastern Poland. Further transports went to Nisko from Moravia-Ostrau (Ostrava, Czechia) and Kattowitz (Katowice, Poland).

However, only a small part of the 4,750 to 4,900 deportees found accommodation in the camp, the rest were expelled by the SS. Hundreds wandered around the Lublin district. The majority ended up in the Soviet Union, where their traces are lost. 198 men were able to return to Vienna after the action was broken off in March 1940.

The most important source was the correspondence between the deportees and the Jewish community in Vienna, a collection now preserved in the archives of the Jewish community in Vienna. Many of these letters provide an insight into the fate of the men deported from Vienna, their desperate situation and their 'everyday life' between autumn 1939 and March 1940. These materials have been supplemented by the personal papers of the few survivors from the Dokumentationsarchiv des österreichischen Widerstandes (DÖW), the Arolsen Archives, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Slovak National Archives, which deal with their deportation, expulsion and imprisonment in Soviet gulags. The documents in the edition also open up completely unexplored chapters, such as the deportation of Austrian Jews from the Ivančice Internment Camp in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia to Nisko.

As part of the edition, a list of all deportees in the Nisko transports was compiled and published for the first time. The names of those who died in the Holocaust are linked to the DÖW database of victims. In addition, short biographies of more than 150 deportees whose names appear in the documents have been compiled.

The online edition offers an introduction to the subject and to certain aspects of the Nisko transports, as well as introductory texts by Winfried Garscha, Dieter Hecht and Wolfgang Schellenbacher offering some remarks on the editorial standards. A rich index shows how powerful the linking and connection to the EHRI Portal is.

This source edition brings together annotated documents from different countries. It will be continuously expanded in the years to come, drawing scholarly attention to the insufficiently used testimonies of the victims and to the fate of the deportees in this border region.

This online edition is in German.

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