It is a barely known fact that the expulsion and murder of the Jews in
1938 – 1945, was not the first such occurrence in the history of Austria.
The first officially decreed expulsion took place in 1420. The Jews residing in Vienna at the time were robbed of their belongings and banished. On March 12th 1421, the 300 Jews still remaining in Vienna were taken to the meadows of Erdberg and burned alive on wooden stakes.
As of 1600, Jews were allowed to take up residence again in Vienna, in the area corresponding to today’s 2nd district (Bezirk) of the City. By 1660, there lived in the area 1300 Jewish men, women and children. Nonetheless, anti-Jewish acts of violence started happening again.On February 28th 1670, Emperor Leopold I decreed that all Jews must leave Austria. The great Synagogue was transformed and renamed as the Leopold Church.
The mentioning of these events provides a dismal insight into the prehistory of the Shoah in Austria, in which 65.000 Jewish children, women and men were murdered.