Birth Record Books of the Jewish Community in Vienna, 1826 - 1938

and Erich Jellinek’s 1924 Birth Record




These two photos show the worn spines of the old volumes containing records of the births of Jewish babies from 1826 to 1938. These volumes were photographed in 2008, in the small archive room of the Israelitische Kultusgemeinde in Wien (abbreviated as “IKG- Wien” and translated into English as the Jewish Community in Vienna).  


The books show the large increase in Jewish births in Vienna, from 1891 until 1927, by their varying thicknesses and by the number of volumes needed to contain the records for one year. Before 1891, each of the books contains the birth records of several years. The book of 1826 - 1848 is the most extreme example of this. Only from 1891 on do the entries for a single year’s births require at least a single volume. In fact, two volumes were needed to record the births for each of the years between 1901 and 1906 and the years 1920, 1921, 1922, and 1924.


From 1927 to 1938 the books contain the records of fewer births and are thus thinner. The 1938 book, the last of the Viennese Jewish Community’s birth record books, registers Jewish births only until the Anschluss of March 12 - 13, 1938.



The record of the birth of Erich Jellinek, the son of Siegfried and Martha H. Jellinek, appears on the third row down, across a double-page spread (see image below for continuation) in one of the 1924 IKG-Wien birth record books.


The title printed across the top of the two pages, can be translated as Birth Book for the Jewish Community in Vienna. The translated headings of the columns containing entries are as follows: record number, date of birth, first name of the newborn, sex, marital status of parents, the names of the newborn’s father and mother, dates and places of each of the parents’ births (as well as the names of each of their parents, including maiden names of women), the location of the birth and of the parents’ apartment, the date of the circumcision and the Hebrew name of the child, the name of the circumciser, and additional notes. The name of the circumciser here, “S. Jellinek,” refers to Siegmund Jellinek, Erich’s paternal grandfather and the patriarch of this Jellinek family.


The words in red ink concern the addition in 1939 of the name “Israel” to Erich’s name, as was required by Nazi law for Jewish males whose names were not recognizably Jewish. The date, October 23, 1945, added outside the right border of this chart, may have been the date that Erich, the twenty-one year-old, traumatized and orphaned Auschwitz survivor, returned to Vienna and re-registered with the Jewish Community of Vienna.


The birth records of Michaela Jellinek and Trude Nadel are included in the 1937 IKG Wien record book.



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