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Eviction Notice for Dr. Erwin Schattner

In July 1938, a Jewish doctor named Erwin Schattner received this eviction notice ordering him to move out of his offices so that a non-Jewish physician could use the space.
US Holocaust Memorial Museum

When German troops marched into Austria in March 1938, they were greeted by crowds of cheering Austrian citizens. The Nazi Party had been spreading propaganda and organizing illegally within Austria for several years, and the German occupation received considerable popular support.1 Nazi Germany annexed Austria almost instantly, and antisemitic Nazi policies that had been introduced incrementally in Germany over the previous five years were suddenly implemented in Austria within a matter of months.2

Erwin Schattner, a middle-aged Austrian Jewish doctor, was operating his own private practice in Vienna when Austria was incorporated into Nazi Germany in spring 1938.3 His wife, Ernestine, gave birth to their second child a month after the German occupation began. Schattner had served in the Austrian army during World War I before attending medical school at the University of Vienna, and he had worked in Vienna’s municipal hospital as a physician and surgeon for several years before establishing his own practice. Within weeks of the annexation of Austria, Schattner obtained a certificate from a professional organization of Viennese doctors declaring him exempt from being called for manual labor ("not even at night") so that he could continue his medical practice undisturbed. This document, however, would not prove to be effective protection from the Nazis’ antisemitic policies.4

In July 1938, Schattner received this eviction notice ordering him to move out of his offices so that a non-Jewish physician could use the space.5 The document reflects the bureaucratic process by which Schattner was robbed of his practice. After his landlord, Wilhelm Kuhn, initiated the eviction, the district court sent Schattner a form signed and stamped with the full authority of the court of Hernals, a district of the city of Vienna. The case’s specific details have been typed in the blank spaces provided, and the language is blunt: Schattner must vacate the premises because "the tenant is a Jew." 

The Nazi project to reshape society to fit Nazi ideas about race and national unity excluded many people from the so-called "national community" ("Volksgemeinschaft").6 Many chose to flee. After Nazi antisemitic policies took his practice, Schattner and his family decided to make preparations to leave Austria as quickly as possible. Three months later, Erwin and Ernestine moved their two young daughters to London, where one of his brothers lived. Although he planned to join another brother in the United States, Schattner sought permission from the British government to practice medicine while he lived in the United Kingdom, arguing that he was "a man who is very much attached to his professional career and who is anxious to alleviate suffering as and when possible."

For more on Austrian support for the Nazi Party, see Evan Burr Bukey, Hitler's Austria: Popular Sentiment in the Nazi Era, 1938-1945 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000).

For more on the implementation of antisemitic Nazi policies in Austria within Experiencing History, see the Film of Jewish Boycott in Austria. To read more on antisemitism in Austria, see Bruce F. Pauley, From Prejudice to Persecution: A History of Austrian Anti-Semitism (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1992); Hans Safrian, Eichmann's Men, translated by Ute Stargardt (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010).


For more on Vienna during the Nazi period, see Thomas Weyr, The Setting of the Pearl: Vienna under Hitler (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005). 


To view this and other related documents, see the Erwin Schattner family papers in the collections of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

For more on the Nazi regime's removal of Jewish physicians from the German medical profession, see Michael H. Kater, "The Persecution of Jewish Physicians," Doctors under Hitler (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1989): 177–221.

To learn more about policies targeting Jewish people during the first several years of Nazi rule, see the Experiencing History collection, Exclusion of Jews in Nazi Germany.

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[Austrian stamp and seal] This reference number is always to be given 

in communications to the Court


[top center, stamped]

Hernals District Court
Received on July 14, 1938, at __ hours _ minutes
in ___ copies, with ___ enclosures.
___ headings as proof of filing.


To the
District Court

in Vienna


Terminating party: Wilhelm K u h n, retailer,

17 Wallgasse, Vienna, 6th District


Represented by: Property Management

Doctor of Canon and Civil Law Rudolf Schimmer

121 Kaiserstrasse, Vienna, 7th District

Telephone B 35 2 92 [signature]



(Power of attorney dated September 5, 1936, is enclosed)


Terminated party: Dr. Erwin S c h a t t n e r, Physician

33 Lerchenfeldergürtel, Vienna, 16th District





Deadline: 14 days 2 copies

1 heading as proof of filing



[These and other forms for management of property are available from Dr. jur. Rudolf Schimmer, 121 Kaiserstrasse, Vienna, 7th District. –Reprinting prohibited. Protected by copyright.]


1. I am the owner of the building at 33 Lerchenfeldergürtel, Vienna, 16th District.

The terminated party is the tenant of rental property No. 28/29 in this building. This rental property consists of: 4 rooms, anteroom, kitchen, side room, bathroom, and other fixtures.


The Rental Law does not apply to this property.

Proof: E.3. of the Land Register



2. The terminated party has his medical practice in the terminated property. Because the tenant is a Jew, however, an Aryan physician was put there in his place. Apart from that, the statement of grounds [for the termination] is not required, because the leased property is not subject to the provisions of the Rental Law.




3. For these reasons, I give the opposing party legal notice that the lease for the rental property described under 1.), along with fixtures, is terminated as of July 31, 1938, and I request that the opposing party be instructed to hand over this property at 12 p.m. on the date indicated, thus avoiding other constraint, or to raise objections to the termination in due time.

Wilhelm Kuhn

Decision of the Court:


The terminated party is instructed to comply with this termination in due time to avoid other constraint, or to raise his objections to this termination. If the termination deadline is at least 14 days, the objections are to be presented orally or in writing to the undersigned court within no more than 8 days after delivery of this decision; if the termination deadline is less than 14 days, the objections must be raised within no more than 3 days. Objections raised after the expiration of this time period will be officially rejected. This decision is enforceable with regard to the terminating party also.

[At bottom: stamp of the Hernals District Court; stamp of Dr. Kehrer certifying the accuracy of the document drawn up; signature]


Archival Information for This Item

Source (Credit)
US Holocaust Memorial Museum
Source Number 2015.595.2
Date Created
July 14, 1938
Author / Creator
Wilhelm Kuhn
Rudolf Schimmer
Vienna, Austria
Document Type Letter
How to Cite Museum Materials

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