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The Nathaniel Freiherr von Rothschild'sche Stiftung für Nervenkranke, Vienna

In 1907, Albert von Rothschild (1844-1911) established in Vienna 'The Nathaniel Freiherr von Rothschild’sche Stiftung für Nervenkranke'. [The Baron Nathaniel von Rothschild Foundation for Nervous Patients]. This fulfilled the wishes of his deceased brother Nathaniel (1836–1905) to establish an endowment in his name serving patients suffering from mental illness.

The endowment, amounting to 20 million Kronen was to lay the foundation for state of the art mental health clinics in Vienna. Annual proceeds were to cover the running costs of their operation. In due course two clinics were established: The Maria-Theresien-Schlössel in Vienna’s 19th district, an 18th century palace, which the Foundation adapted to its new purpose between 1912 and 1914 with 66 and later 200 beds; and The Nervenheilanstalt Rosenhügel in Vienna’s 13th district, constructed in 1912, providing 92 beds.

On 21 April 1939, as a result of the Nazis taking power in Austria in 1938, the endowment was dissolved by decree of the Stillhaltekommisar while deducting 651.250 Reichsmark  as an “administrative fee” for the benefit of the Third Reich. Its other assets were transferred to the City of Vienna as part of the procedure of aryanization.

After the war, the endowment was re-established allegedly in accordance with its charter as it had been on March 10th 1938 (two days before the “Anschluss”). However, the governing board was not reinstated to administer the endowment. Instead, the Municipality of Vienna authorisd itself once again to administer it. The City of Vienna retained control over the endowment and the property that had been expropriated by the Nazis. In 2019, the City of Vienna instigated proposals to dispose of parts of the original endowment, resulting in legal challenges by Mr Geoffrey Hoguet, a descendant of the Viennese Rothshcild family. 

City of Vienna Municipal Council: report into The Nathaniel Freiherr von Rothschild'sche Stiftung für Nervenkranke, 2021

000/2745, 1 digital file

Published Report (in German) into the History of the Nathaniel Freiherr von Rothschild'sche Stiftung für Nervenkranke.[Baron Nathaniel von Rothschild Foundation for Nervous Patients] and its reorganisation in the post war period, Prepared on behalf of the business groups Social, Health and Sports (City Councillor Peter Hackers) as well as Culture and Science (City Councillor Veronica Kaup-Hasler), published by the City of Vienna Municipal Council, 18 November 2021. The report was produced in response to a series of legal questions and actions concerning the governance of the endowment and foundation raised by Mr Geoffrey Hoguet, a descendant of the Austrian Rothschild family.