Information in the Austrian State Archives

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The evidence above shows that Wien 25 was located in the Kriegsministerium in Stubenring; was probably connected physically to the pneumatic network; and was officially listed as providing pneumatic services to the Kriegsministerium and the Marine-section from 26 Nov 1913 till 8 April 1922. The author has pursued the following lines of enquiry, personally in Vienna and elsewhere by email.

Q1: Did the Postal Archives have any Instradierungsbehelfe or similar for the period 1913-20, which might mention W25 or the Kriegsministerium? [The Instradierungsbehelfe were the lists of streets and pneumatic stations which the postal clerks used to decide which pneumatic station to send an item to.]

A1: No, they did not; and what’s more their staff are pretty sure that these lists were not even published during those years, there being other more urgent matters to attend to plus a general shortage of materials and manpower.

Q2: Did the War Archive contain any items sent to or from the War Ministry with evidence of pneumatic transport – specifically, these would be letters or cards with a large blue number in crayon at the top left corner (mock-up specimens of pneumatic mail accompanied the query)?

A2: The duty Archivist, having made enquiries, replied that neither he nor any of his colleagues (who spend all day working with the files) had any recollection of ever seeing any such item. [One cannot search these archives in person, only by submitting a well-focussed question to the staff. And of course the archive’s indexes are by subject, not by document format!]

Q3: Did the "Staatserweiterungsarchiv", the record of the construction of the buildings around the Ring, contain the plans for the War Ministry?

A3: Yes, it did: see below. However these plans are basically wall-layouts, and contained no information about the contents of each room except for a few function-names. The Post- and Telegraph-office was located in the Tief-parterre (lower ground floor) just to the left of the main entrance as seen from the Ring, with 3 rooms, one having a counter. There was a basement below this, and under that a sub-basement containing stocks of coal, wine and beer.

Location of Post Office within War Ministry

Q4: Is there any mention of the War Ministry in the index to the Vienna Technical Museum Library?

A4: No, there isn’t.

Q5: Was there any mention of Wien 25 in the files for the Kriegsministerium’s central telegraph department?

A5: These files, although listed in the English version of the Staatsarchiv web site, "had been reclassified" and couldn’t be located.

Q6: Any mention of D Scheiner or Oberintendant Pietsch in Abteilung 13’s archives?

A6: No; the indexes seem to be of files not persons. The "Niederösterreichische Amtskalender" contains a list of senior staff, and the Berlin State Library kindly sent me copies of the Kriegsministerium section from the 1915 edition. Herr Oberintendant Pietsch is not listed, in Abteilung 13 or elsewhere; however the list seems to be exclusively military personnel and he, being addressed as "Herr", is presumably a civilian.

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