# Introduction
Political Emigration 1934
Austrians in the Spanish Civil War
1938: Jewish Mass Escape
Expelled Culture
Between Longing and Intergration
Political Exile
Exile and Resistance
The Return

Between 1933 and 1942 over 130,000 people fled Austria, the overwhelming majority of them Jews according to the Nuremberg Laws. Already in 1933/34, following the abolition of parliamentary democracy, hundreds of members and functionaries of the workers’ movement escaped to the CSR, Switzerland, Soviet Union as well as France and Belgium. After 1936, about 1400 Austrians joined the troops of Republican Spain fighting Franco.

The terror against the Jewish population, starting as early as 11 March 1938, engendered a mass exodus: until May 1939, 100,000 persons left the country.

However, it was extremely difficult to escape. On one hand, the refugees had to overcome lots of bureaucratic harassment to obtain the required travel documents and had to forgo their entire property in favor of the German Reich. On the other hand, they had great trouble finding refuge since most European, but also overseas countries persisted in or even tightened their restrictive refugee policies despite an international refugee conference held in France in summer of 1938.

Apart from the Austrian Jews, the activists from the Social Democratic, Communist, and Christian Social parties as well as the Legitimists, persecuted by the NS-regime, also fled; Paris became the center of Austrian political exile groups until the collapse of France. 

With the onset of war it became almost impossible to leave the German Reich, on 7 August 1941 an emigration stop for Jewish men between the ages 18 and 45 was decreed. 

The fate of the refugees was anything but simple: despite terror and dis-crimination, it had been difficult for most of them to leave their homeland and settle down in an unknown country whose language they did not speak, saddled with worries for relatives left behind.


Arrival of Austrian children to London
» click see larger image

Arrival of Austrian children to London.