The persecution by the Nazi regime brought about a radical change in the demography of Austrian Jewry. The Jewish population which in March 1938 amounted to about 206,000 persons, or three percent of the total population, and of whom 181,000 were members of the Israelitische Kultusgemeinde, was decimated through expulsion and murder in a disastrous way. Vienna's Jewish community - at one time one of the biggest of the world, almost unparalleled in its cultural diversity and uniqueness - was basically annihilated, and the other Jewish communities in Austria were more or less completely destroyed. At least 66,000 Austrians fell victim to the holocaust.
Decisive factors of this demographic »development« are the following:
- On account of the »Nuremberg Laws« which were introduced in the »Ostmark« in May 1938, over 24,000 people who had renounced Judaism but had Jewish ancestry, were classified as Jews.
- Over 4,900 people, who were not considered to be Jews according to the »Nuremberg Laws« (most of whom had converted to Judaism through marriage), were more or less forced by the Nazi regime to renounce their faith and be reclassified as non-Jews.
- Immediately after March 12, 1938, the Nazi rulers started to expulse over 130,000 people by means of physical and psychological terror. Over 16,000 of these were subsequently exterminated in other Nazi-occupied European countries.
- Internments in concentration camps of far more than 7,000 people which started on April 1, 1938, led to the death of almost 2,000 camp inmates.
- From early 1941 onwards, more than 48,000 people from Vienna were deported to ghettos, concentration and extermination camps. Less than 2,000 survived.
- Only about 5,500 practising Jews or Austrians with Jewish origins survived the Nazi regime in Austria.