11 July 2008

Austria: Vienna newspaper obits, 1864-1939

Intrepid London-based researcher Celia Male now gives us information about obituaries in a favorite newspaper for Jewish death notices/obituaries in the Habsburg Empire.

Although notices are in German, names and dates are easily read.If you know the death date a particular individual, look at the paper's edition closest to that date.

For example, the 17 June 1916 edition of The Partezettel contains much information.Male recommends readers click on an edition layout to see where the notices are located. They are usual in black-outlined boxes towards the end although some may be in earlier pages.

Says Male, "How much German does one need to understand such a notice? First there are the names which are universal and the key thing we are looking for. Then we may, if we are lucky, get a geographic location of birth, residence, death etc.

A few dozen words reappear constantly in the 75 years of publication: Todes-Anzeige Friedhof Israelitische Abteilung gestorben gestern FreundenBekannten Verwandten Mann Frau Witwe Mutter Bruder Schwester SchwagerSchwagerin Kind Enkel Enkelin Neffe Nichte Onkel Tante Grossvater Grossmuttergeb. Leiden Beamter Direktor Fruh Vormittags Montag Dienstag Mittwoch etc and finally, a favourite for Jewish burials, re Kranzspenden etc - which means that they do not wish to have wreaths.
She recommends making this list, and looking them up once. The beginning of the notices may be a short eulogy about the deceased; the end concerns funeral arrangements.
Try Aug 31 1898 p.4 as an exercise; you will find a death notice for Nina FISCHER nee HIRSCHL and will soon discover the names of her family members and that she was a doctor's widow. German is not an inpenetrable language!
Thanks, Celia, for all your fascinating and valuable work.

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