Social Networks, Demography, and Identity: A Prosopographic Study of Vienna’s Jewish Upper Class 1800-1938
Dr. Sara Yanovsky
In 2011, Georg Gaugusch published the first part of a monumental work on the genealogies of Jewish families of Vienna’s upper bourgeoisie from the late 18th century until World War II, titled Wer einmal war.
While the biographies of a number of individuals mentioned by Gaugusch are well known to historians, the almost complete genealogical data of three hundred Jewish families in volume one, traced over at seven generations, offer an unprecedented opportunity to evaluate those sources from a social historical perspective.
The aim is to gain a better overview and understanding of social patterns, particularly related to the self understanding of the Viennese Jewish upper class throughout the decades and centuries, in which the imperial capital’s Jewish community is known to have prospered economically and culturally, but at the same time also faced multiple political, economic, and social challenges.
Questions related to name changes, marriage patterns, conversions, professional and demographic developments are among the topics on which comprehensive statistical data can be drawn from genealogical sources. The aim is not only to gain an overview of the changing patterns, but to put them in a historical perspective, in order to understand their relation to various developments of the time.
Click here for the Final Report on this project.