Kende, Albert

Albert Kende


20 February 1872 Klausenburg, Siebenbürgen (now Cluj-Napoca, Romania) – 3 December 1942 Theresienstadt ghetto / Terezín

In the official documents, there are three businesses registered under the name Albert Kende in the time before the annexation of Austria, starting in 1904. Even before then, he was active in business, as a bookseller in Vienna in the 1890s and with an art dealership at his home address of Spiegelgasse 8 in the 1st district. The same address appears in 1908 as the location of Kunstantiquariat Albert Kende, and it was in that year that the company first appeared in the register. As auction catalogues and newspaper advertisements indicate, Kende had held an auctioneering concession since 1902 and had organized auctions in various locations in Vienna, many of them under the name Auktionshaus Albert Kende. There were several changes of address before 1918 – from Wollzeile 33 to Habsburgergasse 5, then Rotenturmstraße 9, and lastly Herrengasse 5 (Palais Wilczek) – and he also continued to hold auctions during this time. In 1906 he offered works by Tina Blau, Gustav Klimt and Carl Moll and in 1910 he organized a joint auction with Kunsthandlung Halm & Goldmann in the Dorotheum. He did not confine himself to fine arts but also had manuscripts and documents. Between the wars in particular he auctioned complete estates and collections – including those owned by aristocrats, for example the Palais Schwarzenberg collection in 1932 or that of Queen Olga of Württemberg (1822–1892) in 1935. He also offered items from other art and antiques dealerships, such as the antiques and paintings of Pollak & Winternitz in 1933, those of the antiques dealership A. Satori and the private collection of L. and A. Satori in 1936. Kende held the concession from 1925 for the commercial sale of movable assets through public auction at Kärntnerstraße 4 in the 1st district.

After the annexation of Austria, Kende was subject to Nazi persecution and discrimination because of his Jewish origins. His art and auction house in Kärntnerstraße was initially placed under the temporary administration of Ferdinand Josef Nagler. The Vermögensverkehrsstelle (Property Transaction Office) removed Nagler from this function in March 1939 but appointed him to liquidate the company in September of that year. In his asset declaration, Kende had valued his company assets – including paintings, watercolours, antiques and Asian art – at just under 5,000 Reichsmarks. The company was not liquidated, however, but was Aryanized instead in October 1940 by Josef Gruber. In October 1941 Nagler was once again entered in the register of companies as the new proprietor, and the name of the company changed to Ferdinand Nagler, Handel mit Kunstgegenständen und Versteigerungen. During the Nazi era, the Aryanized art and auction house played an important role in the art market, particularly as a hub for expropriated art and cultural objects. It auctioned some of the collection of Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer and numerous objects from Ernst Egger's silver collection. Albert Kende had to move in 1938 from his home in Rotenturmstraße to relatives in the 2nd district. On 14 July 1942 he was deported to the ghetto in Theresienstadt, where he perished on 3 December 1942. On the application of his sister Irma Zeller he was pronounced dead on 10 November 1946 by the Landesgericht für Zivilrechtssachen (provincial court for civil law matters) in Vienna. The company was not restituted.

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Publications about the person / institution

Gabriele Anderl, "Euer armer, unglücklicher, vollständig gebrochener alter Albert Kende". Die "Arisierung" des Kunstauktionshauses Kärnterstraße 4 in Wien, in: David. Jüdische Kulturzeitschrift 79 (12/2008), 76–80, URL: (3.12.2020).


Archiv der Wirtschaftskammer Österreich, Albert Kende; Albert Kende & Co.; Ferdinand Nagler.

GISA Servicestelle, Magistratsabteilung 63, Firmenblätter Albert Kende, Josef Gruber, Ferdinand Nagler.

OeStA/AdR, E-uReang, VVSt, VA 11666, Albert Kende.
OeStA/AdR, E-uReang, FLD, Zl. 15978, Albert Kende.
OeStA/AdR, BMF, Transportakt 31/589, K. 76, Albert Kende.

WStLA, M.Abt. 119, A41, VEAV I/J-1245, 1. Bez., Albert Kende, Ferdinand Nagler.
WStLA, Handelsgericht Wien, A 43, Registerakten, A 8, 43, Albert Kende.
WStLA, Handelsgericht Wien, A 43, Registerakten, HRA 7237, Ferdinand Nagler.