Faltis, Otto

Otto Faltis


30 March 1888 Vienna – 26 June 1974 Vienna

Between 1939 and 1941, on behalf of the Vermögensverkehrsstelle (Property Transaction Office), Otto Faltis liquidated fifty-four Viennese art and antiques dealerships whose owners were persecuted as Jews. After leaving school, he attended the Export Academy, a commercial college, and university courses in actuarial theory and economics. During the First World War he was invalided out of the army. After working for fifteen years in an insurance company, he became independent and acquired several business licences. In the two decades after the First World War he founded several insurance and loan companies and the wholesale company Faltis & Cie. (1919, sole proprietor from 1927), dealing mainly with agricultural supplies. From 1924 to 1938 he was managing director of the Österreichischer Eskont-Verband in Vienna. In 1934 the Federal President awarded him the honorary title Kommerzialrat. After the annexation, he claims to have been a tax consultant and auditor, writing expert opinions and dealing with administrative and liquidation matters. He had offices at Cobenzlgasse 40 in Vienna's 18th district and Tuchlauben 7a in the 1st district. Faltis applied for the Aryanization of Leibnitzer Baumwollspinnerei Ludwig Weiss, but it was taken over by someone else. He received commissions from the Vermögensverkehrsstelle in February and autumn 1939 to liquidate art and antiques dealerships owned by Jews. For various reasons, it was decided later not to liquidate seven of the sixty-one businesses. Faltis wrote reports on the businesses liquidated by him and, in April 1940 and May 1941, two detailed reports of his activities. He listed the revenue from the sale of the objects and the amounts used to pay outstanding debts. He also arranged for the withdrawal of business licences and the deletion of entries in the register of companies. In 1939, on behalf of the Vermögensverkehrsstelle, he sold the inventories of seventeen businesses in two batches in their entirety to a Swedish consortium. He also worked as an auditor and trustee on the Aryanization and liquidation in other sectors, both in Vienna and later in the occupied Netherlands. He was already a member of the NSDAP from 1933 to 1938 when the Party was banned. After the annexation, he was given the membership number 6106822. He was also a member of the Nationalsozialistischer Rechtswahrerbund (National Socialist Association of Legal Professionals), the Deutsche Arbeitsfront (German Labour Front) and the Nationalsozialistische Volkswohlfahrt (National Socialist People's Welfare), but did not leave the Catholic church during the Nazi era.

Immediately after the war, Faltis remained on the supervisory board of Web- und Wirkwarenfabrik Patria in Heidenreichstein and Nobel A.G. He tried very hard to have his name removed from the list of former NSDAP members. He made no mention of his work as a liquidator of art and antiques dealerships in the documents written in exoneration of his activities, and they were not addressed by the authorities either. In the Volksgericht trial of Faltis in 1947 under §§ 8 and 10 of the Prohibition Act (registration fraud and membership of the banned NSDAP), § 6 of the War Criminals Act (illegal enrichment) and § 7 of the Election Act it was only mentioned in passing. Paula Stibbe, widow of the antiques dealer Eugen Stibbe, Goldeggasse 2 in the 4th district, who died in 1945, had claimed various objects as expropriated assets and named Otto Faltis as the initial purchaser. Faltis asserted that when he liquidated the business, neither premises nor cash or goods were present. Referring to his NSDAP membership, he stated that he had been expelled from the Party in 1941 on account of a personal dispute with the Gausippenamt (Genealogy Office) in Vienna regarding his wife's "Ariernachweis" (Aryan certificate) and that his membership from the beginning had been retroactively annulled. He was not able to produce corresponding documentary evidence, stating that it had been buried in the rubble of his office during an air raid in 1944. The Volksgericht trial was dropped in 1948. Faltis continued to work as an auditor and financial consultant after the war, dealing with insurance and loan investigations and information.

Looting and independent actions by temporary administrators had already taken place before the liquidation of the companies by Faltis. Detailed lists of the inventories before the liquidation are of great assistance for provenance researchers, but the reports by Faltis do not contain any such lists.

Author Info
Publications about the person / institution

Gabriele Anderl, "Kostbarkeiten, gemischt mit Trödel...". Die "Abwicklung" jüdischer Kunst- und Antiquitätenhandlungen in Wien während der NS-Zeit, in: Verena Pawlowsky/Harald Wendelin, Enteignete Kunst. Raub und Rückgabe – Österreich von 1938 bis heute, Wien 2006, 36–58.


OeStA/AdR, E-uReang, VVSt, K. 997, Abwickler Faltis.

WStLA, Volksgericht, A1, Vg Vr 5837/47, Otto Faltis.
WStLA, M.Abt. 119, A42, NS-Registrierung, Otto Faltis.