Jewish Population and Immigration
Growth of the Jewish Population
In the 1920s about one in every nine Viennese was Jewish and Vienna had the sixth largest Jewish population in the world with over 200,000 inhabitants who were declared to be Jews.
The constitutional rights which Jews obtained between 1848 and 1867, especially the right to reside wherever they wished, to own property, and to enter professions, facilitated the growth of the Jewish population in Austrian cities and above all in Vienna. Although Austria as a whole had a Jewish population second only to Russia, following the annexation of Galicia and Bukovina (former provinces of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in Eastern Europe) in 1772, Vienna's Jewish population numbered only about 1,600 in 1830. It grew to approximately 4,000 in 1846 and to 6,217 in 1857. Thereafter Jews migrated to the Austrian capital in unprecedented numbers.
By 1880, there were 72,588 Jews living in Vienna; 118,495 resided there in 1890; 146,926 in 1900; and 175,318 in 1910. The percentage of Jews living in Vienna skyrocketed from 2.16% in 1857 to 10.06% in 1880; the growth of Vienna's Jewish population was unmatched anywhere else in Europe except Budapest, the second largest city in Austro-Hungary.
By 1910, there were 1,313,698 Jews living in the Austrian half of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy (4.68% of the total population), of them 175,000 in Vienna, a number that increased to 201,513 in 1932. Following the introduction of the Nuremberg Racial Laws after Austria's annexation to Nazi Germany, 34,500 persons who had not been identified as Jews in the census of 1934 were classified as "racial Jews".
About 100,000 of the 166,000 Jews who still remained in Vienna in 1939 (about 10% of the city's population) managed to emigrate before the outbreak of the war. An estimated number of 800 Viennese Jews survived by working for the Jewish Council, protected by a marriage with a non-Jew or by hiding in the underground after the dissolution of the Jewish community in November 1942.
Immigration to Vienna
In the roughly seven decades preceding the outbreak of the First World War, the sources of Jewish immigration to the Austrian capital changed considerably. Until the 1870s Jews immigrated to Vienna mostly from Bohemia and Moravia, two former Austrian provinces now in the Czech Republic. Having already adopted the German language, even before 1848, and being well-educated, they had little difficulty adjusting to life in the Austrian metropolis. The same, for the most part, could be said of the second wave of immigrants, which came from Hungary.
After 1867 the geographic origins of Jewish immigrants to Vienna began to change drastically. Immigrants from Galicia, usually non-German speaking and often religiously observant, constituted the major part of Jewish immigrants. As early as 1880, 18 % of the Jews living in Vienna were born in Galicia; that figure grew to 23 % in 1910. Their absolute number increased from 13,180 in 1880 to 30,325 thirty years later.
Whereas the emigration of Galician Jews until 1880 was motivated primarily by the dire economic conditions of their province, emigration after 1881 from the Pale of Settrlement was additionally propelled by pogroms organized by the Russian minister of the interior, Nicholas Ignatiev. These pogroms spread to over one hundred locations and lasted nearly a year (1881-1882); they were followed by anti-Jewish legislation. Due in part to these newcomers from Galicia and Russia, Vienna, with 146,926 Jews, had the largest Jewish population in the dual monarchy in 1900.
In the "inner Austrian" crownlands, those areas that would make up the Austrian Republic after 1919, the Jewish population remained very small. Graz, which had the second largest Jewish population after Vienna, was home to only 1,971 Jews (1.3 %of its total population) in 1910 and to 2,456 in 1932.