Austria-Czech SIG #Austria-Czech Re: Re. Military records in the Austro-Hungarian Empire #austria-czech

Celia Male <celiamale@...>

Tom Weiss wrote: Emailer 2 said that the records were
once free but now cost about 80 Euros. That emailer
also said that the records >from outside Austria were
destined for Prague and Tyrnau and all the later have
been lost. Vienna still has records of gallantry,
officers, and higher ranks.

I would like to identify myself as Emailer 2 and
expand on the above: I did tell Tom that the military
records were once free - indeed I obtained them for my
great-uncle Siegfried KERNER and learnt >from them that
he was short-sighted and a keen cyclist and skier! As
he died in the holocaust, and I never knew him, this
and other titbits were valuable information for me.

Entry to the Staatsarchiv, Nottendorfergasse, was also
once free. There is now a daily fee [ca 7 Euros], but
one can get reduced rates for longer periods. There is
now also a search fee for records and this has to be
paid even if no records are found. This was not the
case when I asked for the records of Ernst KERNER,
Siegfried's brother, in late 2003. They could not find
any, but I did not incur a charge for the abortive

I was quoted 80 Euros for another search last year -
which seemed rather steep if no records were
available. Someone else was quoted ca 40 Euros. I
expect the search charges are based on an estimate of
the time spent in the search. You now will get a quote
when you ask for records.

I was told that the major destination of records from
military personnel who were not "zustandig"
[resident] in Austria itself were Prague and Tyrnau
{Trnava} and that probably most of the latter had been
cleared out in a spring clean!

This is confirmed here in paragraph b [in German]:

The archives repatriated to Prague seem to have fared
better. No mention is made of Galicia - which is, I
fear, bad news.

Vienna still holds the records of all citizens of the
country of Austria itself, citizens and the records of
higher ranks, gallantry awards and special mentions
etc for those soldiers coming >from the wider Habsburg
empire. The ordinary soldiers' records >from the wider
Empire were all repatriated after WW1.

There may also be records of all war casualties. This
has to be confirmed.

Where the Galician records went, I do not know, but a
search of the Special Interest Group {SIG} message
archives with the terms "galicia war records" provided
a very useful posting on 23 Mar 2004 >from Brian J
Lenius to the Galicia Group entitled: Military

There are references to articles in this posting which
should provide leads, including two by Dr. Christoph
Tepperberg, the Director of the Kriegsarchiv.

1. "The Personnel Records of the Austrian War
Archives (Kriegsarchiv)" in East European Genealogist.
(East European Genealogical Society, Winnnipeg,
Canada, Vol.5 No.4, Summer 1997, pp.18-19)

2. "The Austrian War Archives in Vienna (Kriegsarchiv
Wien) and its Records Pertaining to Personnel" in East
European Genealogist. (East European Genealogical
Society, Winnnipeg, Canada, Vol.8 No.4, Summer 2000,

and then there is a rather pessimistic letter to the
Galicia Group, dated 20 Feb 2003, >from Edward
Goldstein: Subject: Austro-Hungarian Army
1914-1918.This includes the sentence: "none of the
records >from Galicia seem to have survived".

All this does not sound too optimistic, however if you
are prepared to fork out the search fee, you may find
something in Vienna! The file I got for Gt-Uncle
Siegfried was unbelievably large and detailed; no
wonder the Tyrnau archives threw them out. They
probably had no space to store them all.

Unfortunately, we can now look on these lost records
as further casualties of that terrible WW1, which was
meant to be "the war to end all wars".

Celia Male [UK]

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