Before the Holocaust, the Jewish Community had about 180,000 members. At the end of World War II, only some 800 of them had survived staying in Vienna, due to mixed marriages, work for the Jewish Council, or by hiding. These survivors, and the several thousand Jews who returned from the camps in Eastern Europe from the countries to which they had fled, reconstituted Jewish community life in Austria. As before the Holocaust, the large majority lived in Vienna (12,450 registered members in 1950) and the rest (approx. 950) in Graz, Linz, Salzburg and Innsbruck.
Another 20,000 Jews, mostly Hungarian Displaced Persons (DPs-the uprooted and homeless survivors of the Holocaust), remained in Austria at the end of the war. In the following months, Austria became the main transit country for Jewish refugees from Poland, Hungary and Romania and other Eastern European countries, who were on their way to Italy, Israel or other countries. The number of DPs reached its peak in late 1946, when it was estimated at 42,500, most of them in the western, American-occupied area of Austria. By 1953, only 949 refugees were left in DP camps.
The number of Jews in Vienna began to decline and in 1965, 9,537 persons were registered as members of Jewish communities, of whom 8,930 lived in Vienna. Another 2,000 were estimated to live in Austria without being registered with a Jewish community. Thereafter, the number of Jews in Austria remained more or less stable, with a slight tendency to drop.
Austria became a country of transit for Jewish migration from Eastern Europe to Israel and the West. Typically, these people spent only a few days in Austria, in camps around Vienna, but some of them chose to remain in or returned to Austria from abroad. About 300 Jews who fled Hungary after the failed Hungarian revolution of 1956 remained in Austria. In the 1970's and 1980's Vienna served as a transit point for hundreds of thousands Jews leaving the Soviet Union en route to the United States or Israel. Between 1973 and 1989 over 250,000 Jewish immigrants came through Austria, 65,000 of whom continued to Israel. The majority preferred the United States or other Diaspora destinations, but a small number remained in Austria. In the 1990's, approximately 5,000 Jews from the former Soviet republics of Central Asia and the Caucasus region - Uzbekistan, Georgia and Daghestan - and Iranian Jews moved to Vienna, some of them after spending several years in Israel. By the end of the 1990's, Vienna had 7,000 Jews registered in the Jewish community. However, the total number of Jews living in Vienna is estimated to be twice that figure. Vienna is the home of the great majority of Jews living in Austria. There are also several smaller communities, none with more than 100 Jews, including Baden, Bad Gastein, Graz, Innsbruck, Linz, and Salzburg. In 2001 approximately 5,000 Jews were registered in the Jewish community of Vienna, but the total number of Jews living in Vienna is estimated to be twice that figure. Austrian Jewry is primarily composed of Holocaust survivors and their children, returning Austrian expatriates, refugees from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, including large number Jews from the forner Soviet republics of Uzbekistan, Georgia, and Daghestan, as well as Iranian Jews.
The community in 2001 was made up of several distinct groups, the most numerous being returnee Austrians and their families, as well as former refugees from Eastern Europe and the Middle East, and their descendants. They run the full range, from prosperous businesspeople to intellectuals, from fervently Orthodox to Reform, from Austrian-born to recent immigrants from the former Soviet Union.
13,396 members/all IKGs
9,537 members/all IKGs