Neurath, Ludwig

Ludwig Neurath


17 August 1866 Vienna – 17 March 1941 Torquay, UK

also Ludwig Neurath von Neudenegg

Ludwig Neurath, chairman of the board of Creditanstalt für Handel und Gewerbe and a widower since 1907, had an impressive art collection consisting of paintings, miniatures, sculptures, porcelain, furniture and a library. When the National Socialists came to power, Ludwig was increasingly persecuted as a Jew. The Vermögensanmeldung (declaration of assets) of 15 July 1938 provided only a summary of the movable assets: "carpets, silverware, porcelain, glasses, clocks and watches, and paintings" worth 11,500 Reichsmarks. An undated letter fragment, probably from early August 1938, by Ivo Hans Gayrsperg, an art expert at the Zentralstelle für Denkmalschutz (Central Monument Protection Authority), also mentions the oil painting Cholera Chapel by Jakob Alt at "Director Ludwig Neurath, Vienna I, Karlsplatz 1". When Ludwig Neurath was preparing to escape to Britain in 1939, the Vienna transport company Spedition Reitter, evidently commissioned by him, suggested in early March 1939 that the Central Monument Protection Authority inspect various art objects owned by Neurath. Shortly afterwards, Eugen Primavesi, an expert and assessor, evaluated the art objects in Neurath's apartment. He listed ten carpets with their dimensions and fifty-three paintings, mostly by Austrian artists, including the painting by Jakob Alt. Parts of Neurath's art collection stored with Reitter were released for export in June 1939 and prepared for transport to Hamburg. Jakob Alt's Cholera Chapel was not included. It was no doubt put up for sale to finance the escape. At all events, in May 1939 Bruno Grimschitz, director of the Österreichische Galerie, requested permission from the office of the Reichsstatthalter of Vienna to sell a painting by Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller from the Österreichische Galerie collection to raise money to purchase Jakob Alt's painting Landscape with Cholera Chapel near Baden. His request was granted and the work was acquired in 1939 from the art dealer Marie Wolfrum. It is not known what happened to Neurath's library. Neurath himself escaped in August 1939 to London, where he died in 1941. His two sons Ernst and Wilhelm Theodor were able to escape to Cuba and Britain, respectively. In 2010 the Art Restitution Advisory Board recommended that Jakob Alt's Cholera Chapel from the Österreichische Galerie collection be restituted to the legal successors of Ludwig Neurath, as the painting had clearly been sold under pressure of persecution.

Author Info
Publications about the person / institution

Beschluss des Kunstrückgabebeirats, Ludwig Neurath, 20.11.2009, URL: (3.12.2020).
Beschluss des Kunstrückgabebeirats, Ludwig Neurath, 22.9.2010, URL: (3.12.2020).

Georg Gaugusch, Wer einmal war. Das jüdische Großbürgertum Wiens 1800–1938. L–R (= Jahrbuch der Heraldisch-Genealogischen Gesellschaft Adler, 3. Folge 17), Wien 2016.

Randy Schoenberg, Ludwig Neurath von Neudenegg, in: Geni a MyHeritage company, URL: (3.12.2020).


Archiv der Österreichischen Galerie Belvedere, Zl. 289/1939, Zl. 351/1939.

BDA-Archiv, Restitutionsmaterialien, Peter Neurath, Zl. 7648/1969; Johanna Neurath Zl. 9052/1970.
BDA-Archiv, Wohnungsanforderungen, Ludwig Neurath, 855/1921.
BDA-Ausfuhr, Zl. 2499/1938; Zl. 3587/1939; Zl. 4596/1939.

OeStA/AdR, E-uReang, Hilfsfonds, Abgeltungsfonds 3772, Peter Neurath.
OeStA/AdR, E-uReang, VVSt, VA 17249, Ernst Neurath.
OeStA/AdR, E-uReang, VVSt, VA 6441, Ludwig Neurath.
OeStA/AdR, Handel-Wirtschaftsarchive, Spedition Reitter, K. 18, Zl. 460, Ludwig Neurath.

WStLA, Historische Wiener Meldeunterlagen, Meldeauskunft Ludwig Neurath.