Austria, Vienna: Exit questionnaire & visa documents #austria-czech



In searching for the exit trails of my Heilpern Family members, from Vienna, following the Anschluss, I have encountered tall brick walls.  I have heard tell of "exit questionnaires" that were filed with the IKW, and various documents needing to be submitted in order to get visas (ie. -proof of bills all paid, how much money they had,etc.), and of course, the visas themselves.  I've looked, for years, at Family Search, My Heritage, Ancestry, GenTeam & the US Holocaust Museum (online), as well as doing Google searches --- NO luck.  Perhaps, someone out there among the many researchers, has figured out where to find these critical papers.  If so, would you please tell me what you did & where they were hiding?  Here are the people I need/want to find such information for:  Alfred, Gisela & Ernestine Lea Heilpern (brother, sister,mother). I know they all went to England first.  Berta, Kurt (Marianna Zerkowitz Heilpern), & Rosalia Helena Heilpern (sister,brother & wife,mother). I know Berta went to England first, The others went to Buenos Aires, Argentina. These are the families of two brothers: Isak & Adolph Abraham Heilpern. Many thanks, in advance, to those who might have the answers I am seeking!


Leah Heilpern Snider

Stephen Katz

Have you tried contacting the IKG Wien directly? The website is
Stephen Katz 

Michael Hoffman

Hello Leah Heilpern Snider,

Contact World Jewish Relief in London, England as they have an archive documenting Refugees from before and after WWII.
The website page that you want is as follows:- 
Jerry Springer obtained his family records from World Jewish Relief.

Regards,  Michael Hoffman,  Borehamwood,   HERTS, UK   <mikeh25@...>

Renée K. Carl

I believe, but I am not certain, that the exit questionnaires are available at USHMM via the library, but you cannot access them online for privacy reasons. Not all families were included in the exist forms. If I remember correctly if the family received assistance from the IKG, they had a questionnaire. It's been a while since I have worked on these records. Others might have more info.

If the family had money/property, then also consult Res als Unrecht. The index is online but the records are stored in Vienna. I believe I found your family in them but you will need to check the birthdates.

I hope this helps,   Renee Carl,  Washington DC   <rkcarl@...>

Thomas F. Weiss

Hello Leah,

What you are looking for are called Emigration Questionnaires in English translation. They were administered by the Israelitisches Kultusgemeinde Wien and copies have been available from them. I have obtained copies for many, but not all, of my relatives. These documents are full of family information and some depressing thoughts by the applicants. Last time I checked, there was some confusion about how they were indexed. Those indexed by name were readily available; those indexed by date were difficult to obtain. Write to s.uslu-pauer@... for information on your relatives.

Good luck,

Tom Weiss
Needham, MA

Peter Heilbrunn

The IKG in Vienna has copies of the so called exit questionnaires. One is a standard form usually filled out in 1938 the other an interview record. I think we may have already exchanged emails. If you wish I can send you samples related to my family.

Daniela Torsh

Hi Leah,
I found a whole cache of these questionnaires in Jerusalem at the Centre for the history of the Jewish People. I managed to find some relating to my cousin Fritz Lichtblau. He and his mother Marie got support form the IKG to emigrate from Vienna  to New York. I think I also found a questionnaire for my uncle Fritz THORSCH  but I am not sure where I have put them.
As I understand it from an exhibition in Vienna I saw at the Jewish Museum there a lot of the IKG papers and documents were sent to Jerusalem for safekeeping during the Nazi era. The Centre allows researchers to look at their material but they do not do any research. I made a trip to Israel as I wanted to meet some cousins I had found and went to the centre which is on a university campus in Jerusalem and did the research there.
My uncle Fritz THORSCH  aunt and cousin managed to get entry to England first and then to USA. The Ellis Island (in New York) records are available and I found my family arrival  there too. If any of your family got into America they would be in the naturalisation records there. You can also check the American census records online.
Good luck with your search.
Daniela torsh

Daniela Torsh

Recht als Unrecht is a book of names of Jews who filled out forms to detail what possessions they had so the Nazis could confiscate them before they emigrated. Its held in the National Library in Vienna in the Third Disctrict.  The files attached to the anmes are also available in the library. Avotaynu had published the list of names but I don't have the issue number. If you email the editor you may find the list there. Or you can write to the National Library and ask them.
Or ask someone like Frank Feiner or Traude Triebel to go to the library for you and copy the files.
Daniela Torsh

Lewis, Megan

Earlier posters are correct- only people who needed IKG's assistance completed questionnaires.
The Vienna Jewish community records are divided up into 2 main parts:
The Vienna component (records still held by the IKG) ~ 1,000,000 pages
The Jerusalem component (records held by the CAHJP) ~1,400,000 pages (these records were sent to Jerusalem in the 1950s and 1960s.)

USHMM has copies of both components on microfilm.
The Vienna component has the names index to the questionnaires and about ~2000 forms.  However the bulk of the completed questionnaires are at the CAHJP, ~271,000 pages.  The questionnaires are in 2 sections - ones filed alphabetically and ones filed numerically.  The index is the only way to find a numerical file. 
Additionally, archival collections RG-15.109 Records of the Jewish Community of Vienna held at the Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute and RG-11.001M.27 Israelitische Kultusgemeinde, Vienna (Fond 707) from the Russian State Military Archives (Osobyi) records contain emigration related material such as correspondence and lists of Jews who immigrated.
(The records in Warsaw were found abandoned in Poland and sent to the Jewish Historical Archives. The records in Moscow were captured by the Soviet Army. There are multiple collections about Austrian Jews in the Osobyi records- search our catalog at
Currently the only reference work I can do for our Vienna material is for the questionnaires. Send full names and dates of birth to reference@.... Put Vienna emigration questionnaires in the subject line so my colleagues assign the requests to me.  I do not know how long it will take me to fulfill any requests.
Megan Lewis  Reference Librarian  
NOTE: I am teleworking until further notice.
National Institute for Holocaust Documentation
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


Debbie Lifshitz

Would minors who left via Kindertransport or Youth Aliyah have filled out these forms as well? (i.e. by their parents/ guardians?)
Debbie Lifschitz

Alex Woodle

Alex Woodle

Sorry that link failed. The Leo Baek Institute has these Austrian exit questionnaires. Yesterday I linked to them, but they seem to be installing a new system? Contact them by phone to check on their holdings.

Alex Woodle
Groton, MA