Olga Hekajllo

HIER WOHNTE
OLGA HEKAJLLO
JG. 1892
IM WIDERSTAND
DEPORTIERT JULI 1944
RAVENSBRÜCK
ERMORDET 22.7.1944

Haunspergstraße 11

Hekajllo, Olga

Olga HEKAJLLO was born in Lemberg (Lwów, Lwiw), Galicia (then part of the Austrian half of Austria-Hungary) on January 20, 1892. She was the oldest child of a Catholic couple, an army officer named Sigmund HEKAJLLO who was stationed there and his wife Bertha. Bertha was the daughter of Major General Alois Edler von Schuschnigg and his wife Katharina who had made the city of Salzburg their retirement home according to the High-Life-Almanac of the Austrian Society of Crown-Land Salzburg.

The von Schuschniggs lived at 5 Hubert Sattlergasse, and so did their daughter Bertha HEKAJLLO after May 1903. She had separated from her husband and lived with her two children, Olga and Wladimir-Felician. Olga graduated from the Ursulines’ teacher training institute and remained unmarried as teacher regulations required at the time. She taught in elementary schools in rural districts and then in the city of Salzburg. From 1937 on she lived in the house of Medical Councilor Dr. Matthias Deissl at 11 Haunspergstraße - in the Elisabethvorstadt neighborhood.

According to the Police Registration records Olga HEKAJLLO was »officially deregistered« – along with the notation that »during the war she died in a concentration camp«. It hasn’t been possible to identify the concentration camp with any certainty as even the records of the International Tracing Service in Bad Arolsen have no information about her. The lack of records could leave us to guess that Olga HEKAJLLO was murdered in the Ravensbrück concentration camp for women because that is where the SS destroyed all their records in the last days of the war.

The fate of this woman dragged off to a concentration camp would remain forever unknown if she hadn’t been the cousin of Dr. Kurt Schuschnigg, the Austrian Chancellor from 1934 to 1938. But she was, and his son’s memoir gives the fate of Olga HEKAJLLO some shape. Schuschnigg writes that she is said to have listened to the »enemy radio station« BBC London and to have been overheard passing some news on to her grocer. When the eavesdropper denounced Olga HEKAJLLO to the Gestapo they arrested the 52 year old teacher. As was often the case with women arrested by the Gestapo she wasn’t charged and tried for any crime, but was simply deported to the Ravensbrück concentration camp - as she informed her brother in a note dated July 24, 1944. Her brother also received an urn from the concentration camp administration along with a document giving her official cause of death as »acute pneumonia« and stating that she had died on »July 22, 1944«, two days before the date on her note. [Kurt von Schuschnigg and Janet von Schuschnigg, When Hitler Took Austria: A Memoir of Heroic Faith by the Chancellor's Son (San Francisco 2012), page 136.]

Sources

Author:Gert Kerschbaumer
Translation:Stan Nadel

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Stumbling Blocks

Laid 2013-04-18 at Haunspergstraße 11, Salzburg

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