Emigration Questionnaire Raises More Questions

Emigration Questionnaire Raises More Questions

This is Day 10 of the Family History Writing Challenge, 2018.

The search for Adolph and Bertha Schweitzer continues with the introduction of a document that raises more questions than it answers. 

One thing you’ve got to say for the Nazis. They kept good records. In August 1938, the Central Agency for Jewish Emigration in Vienna (Zentralstelle für jüdische Auswanderung in Wien) was established to “accelerate the forced emigration of the Austrian Jews and (starting in October 1939) to organize and carry out their deportation.” Adolf Eichmann was sent from Berlin to create the agency; he delegated much of the work to the Jewish community. The process is detailed in a book by Doron Rabinivoci, Eichmann’s Jews: The Jewish Administration of Holocaust Vienna, 1938-1945. 

My great uncle filled out one of the questionnaires dating from this period. 

Here’s a pdf of the entire document: Emigration document Adolf Schweizer

And here’s a blank version of the questions in English: Emigration Questionnaire in English

What I learned

  • The exact address of Adolf Schweizer’s butcher shop: Lichtensteinstrasse No. 52 in the IXth District
  • That he wanted to go to North America or Palestine
  • That he used Siegmund Kornmehl (aka Freud’s Butcher) as his reference
  • That he and Bertha had a daughter named Erika who was born in 1925
  • That he listed as two sponsors Berthold Spielholz Scheidlinger and Henry Kornmehl, both in New York.

What I have yet to find out

  • Whether Adolf Schweizer owned the butcher shop or worked in it for one of his in-laws.
  • What the relationship is of the Schweizers to their potential sponsors. I can read the notation “nephew” next to the first line but don’t know what the line underneath says. Scheidlinger is the maiden name of my great grandmother and Kornmehl…well, that’s everyone who’s related to my mother. So there’s a lot of family tree digging to be done here.
  • Who Erika is and what happened to her. My mother noted on a rough family tree that she was adopted– which is clear from the fact that she was born in 1925, when Bertha would have been 52 years old–but from whom, and why? 
  • What a lot of the other words in the document mean. I need a bit of help with transcription — as well as translation. That’s an open invitation.

6 Responses to Emigration Questionnaire Raises More Questions

  1. Steve says:

    “One thing you’ve got to say for the Nazis. They kept good records.”

    Reminds of the story, true or not, about Mussolini keeping the trains running on time! Loving your ramped up blogging schedule. Keep it up.

    • Edie Jarolim says:

      I heard the same story related to Franco! Maybe it’s a general legend that dictators are efficient.

      Thank you for coming by. This ramped up schedule is killing me but publish shame if I fail to keep going is an incentive!

  2. Have you tried the Genealogy? Just Ask group on Facebook? I usually get replies within minutes of posting something like this.
    Vera Marie Badertscher recently posted..Valentine Day Is February 9thMy Profile

    • Edie Jarolim says:

      I did not know that group existed! I was going to post on a group that is devoted to Jews of German-speaking heritage, but that’s a great resource to know about.

  3. Tracing the Tribe on facebook is another excellent group – started by my frenemy Shelley Talalay Dardashti, a dedicated worldwide group of Jewish genealogy aficionados.

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