II.1. Who was deprived of property?
(Persons, groups, organisations)
It is a fact that not all victimised persons and groups were persecuted by the Nazis with the same degree of intensity and not all their property in Austria was looted to the same extent by the Nazi regime. Hence the following enumeration should be read neither in the sense of a juxtaposition on the same level nor as reflection a gradation.
II.1.1. Looting of Jewish property ("aryanisation")
In terms of the intensity and consistency of expropriation and persecution, Jewish people were the main victims of Nazi rule in Austria. Jewish people holding foreign nationality were at first relatively better off than Austrian Jews, as long as their countries protected them and did not come under Nazi domination. Jewish people who had acquired Austrian citizenship after World War I were often deprived of their citizenship by the Nazi authorities: they became stateless persons and were therefore particularly vulnerable.
The expropriation of Jewish property in Austria extended to every type of asset. It proceeded through a number of stages and was carried out under different formal pretences. Simple robberies by greedy antisemitic individuals to which the authorities turned a blind eye may be contrasted with systematic looting organised by the authorities themselves under appropriate legislation and administration regulations. Add to this the personal enrichment of Nazi functionaries and activists who misused their powers (Gestapo officials etc.). Directly after the Nazi takeover in 1938, "aryanisation" and the liquidation of Jewish enterprises started on a haphazard private basis, but the authorities soon saw to their own profit, and having registered Jewish property under a special decree ("Vermögensanmeldeverordnung"), they proceeded to set up their own office ("Vermögensverkehrsstelle") in order to direct expropriations into regular channels which made sure that the Nazi regime itself pocketed a substantial part of the "aryanisation profits". The "aryanisation" of many large companies was entrusted to the "Kontrollbank". The 1938 November pogroms were followed by the complete elimination of Jewish people from economic life, and through an enormous number of administrative decrees all objects of any value at all were taken away from the rest of the Jewish population. The next step was the sale of the possessions which deportees had left behind. This was done under the 11th implementing decree to the Reich Citizens Act by an organisation specially set up by the Gestapo for this purpose: "Vugesta" ("Verwaltungsstelle für Umzugsgüter jüdischer Emigranten bei der Gestapo Wien" - Administrative Office for the Property of Jewish Emigrants at the Gestapo of Vienna).
As early as 1938, Jewish people lost their homes and jobs and had to pay discriminatory taxes. School attendance by their children was made difficult and finally altogether prohibited. The "Central Office for Jewish Emigration" founded in August 1938 coordinated the plundering of Jews who were trying to flee the country. In addition to the official taxes and fees, many of them had to bribe Gestapo officers and other officials in order to actually receive the documents to which they were theoretically entitled.