Letter from Karl Schreiner Confirming Takeover of
Karl Jellinek’s Law Office - Vienna, November 1938


English Translation by Dr. Laura Jockusch


Dr. KARL SCHREINER Vienna, November 10, 1938


TELEPHONE R 38 - 4- 97

Savings account B 61. 082

Office Hours 9 a.m. - 12 noon and 3 - 6 p.m.

(Saturdays 9 a.m. - 12 noon)

Member of the NSRB1 (printed under a Nazi swastika, eagle, scales and sword insignia)

Dear Colleague!

           We have reached the following oral agreement today, which, as a matter of form, I want to confirm here for you:

           On November 11, 1938, an agreement regarding the property in Vienna XV., 135 Mariahilfer Street, Door No. 10, was made between the housing office of district VII and the owner of the very building, according to which Dr. Karl Jellinek renounced his rights as a tenant in favor of Dr. Karl Schreiner and Dr. Karl Schreiner was accepted as a new tenant with a ten year lease, starting December 1, 1938; today’s agreement covers the takeover of several pieces of equipment and other movables, as well as all conveniences of the property, which are listed in a separate two-fold index undersigned by the two parties and which constitutes a significant component of this agreement.


           The takeover of the factual property by Dr. Schreiner

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took place today, and was achieved through a precise examination of the individual items by both parties. Dr. Jellinek declared that these items are the property of Dr. Schreiner from now on, and Dr. Schreiner replied that he accepted the items.

           Dr. Schreiner is leaving the items at Dr. Jellinek’s disposal, for use, free of charge until the day on which Dr. Jellinek and his relatives leave the property, which will be the case on December 15, 1938, at the latest. On the day of his clearing the property, Dr. Jellinek is obliged to hand the items over to Dr. Schreiner, completely and in the same state and manner. Furthermore, whenever there is an occasion, Dr. Jellinek is obliged to explain the facts of the case to any third party, and to point out that it is Dr. Schreiner’s property. Therefore, he is also obliged to object and immediately contact Dr. Schreiner if someone tries to remove the items in question from the property, so that he [Dr. Schreiner] can assert his ownership. Dr. Jellinek has to take precautions that Dr. Schreiner’s property is handled with care. Should there be any attempted seizure, Dr. Jellinek must also assert Dr. Schreiner’s ownership, and he must contact Dr. Schreiner immediately.2 Furthermore, Dr. Jellinek declared that all items were his sole property and that third persons did not make any hypothecary claims. Finally, Dr. Jellinek declared that he is free of debts. Even in case there were debts that Dr. Jellinek did not know of, Dr. Jellinek would let Dr. Schreiner deal with them, which is not applicable

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in this case anyway, since this is no taking over of a business in which Dr. Schreiner would be liable for any debts of his predecessor.

 While declaring that this is the true and complete content of today’s agreement3 between us, and asking you to transmit a counter-report, I am signing with a colleague’s4 German salutation,


                              Dr. Karl Schreiner

                         Criminal Defense Attorney

                      [aka. Counsel for the Defense]

                          Vienna XV. Palmgasse 10

To Mr. Dr. Karl Jellinek


Vienna XV., Mariahilfer Street 135


1. NSRB stands for “Nationalsozialistischer Rechswahrerbund”, which is difficult to translate,

but I [LJ, translator] would translate it as “National Socialist Union of Preservers of the Law”.

2. The double-speak, “legal” thievery of and violence against Jews that had become the norm during this time in the Third Reich is quite evident here. Dr. Schreiner states that Dr. Jellinek should prevent someone else from stealing or seizing the property that Dr. Schreiner had just seized and stolen -- by asserting that the property is now owned by (the non-Jew, Nazi party member) Dr. Schreiner.

3. Actually there was more, that was unwritten and kept secret until after the German defeat: Karl Schreiner paid Karl J. enough money for the purchase of the ship tickets to America which enabled him, his wife Kreindel/Karla, and their infant daughter, Michaela, to escape from ‘the Third Reich’ and save their lives. After the war, Karl S. asked Karl J. to attest to this payment, which Karl J. did.

4. “Kollegial” can mean either cooperative, helpful or friendly, or like a colleague, or from a colleague. I [LJ, translator] consider the latter most likely, because Schreiner definitely respected Karl J. as a colleague. Also noteworthy in this regard is the belief expressed by Karl’ J.’s niece, Gisella Nadja Jellinek Gal, that K. Schreiner apprenticed in Karl J.’s law office in the late 1920s or early 1930s.


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