On March 18, 1938, the office of the Israelitische Kultusgemeinde (Jewish commu-nity) was shut down and the officials in attendance were arrested. Concurrently, Adolf Eichmann, who at the time was in charge of Jewish affairs at the Security Service, arrived in Vienna. At that point, the National Socialist rulers still aimed at forcing as many Jews as possible to emigrate. It was Eichmann’s idea to gather all authorities concerned with emigration under one central roof. The Israelitische Kultusgemeinde and the most important Zionist organizations were expected to procure foreign currency and entry visas. As a result of the stringent limitations on immigration imposed by the Western and overseas countries, this was a difficult task.
Headed by Eichmann, the Central Office for Jewish Emigration was set up in Vienna in 1938, whose purpose it was to manage and enforce the expulsion of the Austrian Jews. Those Austrian Jews forced to emigrate were allowed to take with them apart from a few personal belongings just the amount of money necessary to obtain an entry permit into the future country of immigration; the entire remaining property was confiscated in favor of the German Reich.