Menzel. Alfred

Alfred Menzel


17 July 1879 Vienna – 1949 declared dead

until 1899 Alfred Menzeles

The Vienna-born railway official Alfred Menzeles, who changed his name to Menzel in 1899, was married to Margarethe, née Kornblüh. With their two sons Hans and Otto, the family lived in Vienna's 3rd district at Rechte Bahngasse 12/3 since 1931. After the "Anschluss" of Austria to the German Reich in March 1938, the family prepared to leave Vienna. In May 1938, Alfred Menzel applied to the Zentralstelle für Denkmalschutz (Central Monument Protection Authority) for the export of his art objects, which included mainly miniatures, East Asian carvings and porcelain as well as oil paintings and watercolours. The Städtische Sammlungen were consulted for the appraisal, in the course of which they laid claim on an eight-piece tête-à-tête breakfast service due to its rarity value. With the exception of a miniature by Karl Agricola, the Zentralstelle granted clearance for the remaining art and cultural objects. Alfred Menzel, who managed to leave Vienna for Belgium together with his wife in August, left the miniature that had been blocked for export to his elder brother Fritz, who in turn sold it to the Albertina in January 1939. Alfred and Margarethe Menzel were interned in the Belgian Mecheln collection camp and deported from there to Auschwitz-Birkenau in September 1943, where they perished at an unknown date. While their two sons managed to escape to Palestine and the USA respectively. Alfred's brother Fritz and his wife Margit did not manage to leave Vienna. In March 1941, they were deported to the Modliborzyce ghetto in the Janów Lubelski district of Lublin, where they were murdered in autumn 1942 at the latest in the course of the liquidation of the ghetto and their transfer to the "Aktion Reinhardt" extermination camps.

In 2003, the Vienna Restitution Commission decided to restitute the breakfast service. In 2015, the Art Restitution Advisory Board recommended the return of the Agricola miniature from the Albertina collection to the legal successors of Alfred Menzel. The miniature was finally handed over to the grandson living in Israel in April 2021.

Author Info
Publications about the person / institution

Beiratsbeschluss Alfred und Fritz Menzel, 15.10.2015, URL: (14.9.2023).

Vierter Bericht des amtsführenden Stadtrates für Kultur und Wissenschaft über die gemäß dem Gemeinderatsbeschluss vom 29. April 1999 erfolgte Übereignung von Kunst- und Kulturgegenständen aus den Sammlungen der Museen der Stadt Wien sowie der Wiener Stadt- und Landesbibliothek, Wien, 10. November 2003, URL: (20.9.2023).

DÖW, Opferdatenbank des Dokumentationsarchivs des österreichischen Widerstandes, Einträge zu Alfred und Margarethe Menzel sowie Fritz und Margit Menzel, URL: (22.3.2022).


Archiv der IKG Wien, Bestand Jerusalem, A/W 2589,89, Auswanderungsfragebogen Familie Menzel.

BDA-Archiv, Ausfuhrmaterialien, Zl. 1128/1938, Alfred Menzel.

Museen der Stadt Wien (Städtische Sammlungen, MA 10), Zl. 921/1938, Akt Menzel.

OeStA/AdR, E-uReang, VVSt, VA 20497, Alfred Menzel.

WStLA, BG Innere Stadt, 11 A 311/51, Verlassenschaft Alfred Menzel.
WStLA, Historische Wiener Meldeunterlagen, Meldeauskunft Alfred Menzel.
WStLA, LG für Zivilrechtsachen, 48T 2422/48, Erkenntnis über den Beweis des Todes, 2.3.1949.
WStLA, M.Abt. 119, A 41, VEAV Zl. 182, 3. Bez., Alfred Menzel.