Adolf BERANEK was born in Salzburg on June 6, 1915 and was baptized into the Catholic Church. He was the younger of the two sons of Maria and Johann Beranek.

They lived in the working class district of Itzling which had a large population of railroad employees and which became part of the city of Salzburg in 1935.

Adolf‘s father was a day laborer who was an invalid unable to work after the First World War. Johann died at age 42 in 1929 when Adolf was only 14 years old.

Adolf trained to be a plumber, but came into conflict with the law as a youth and spent some time in a reform school. After his release he lived with his widowed mother at 49 Kirchenstraße in Itzling. As a young man he had a love affair that produced a child born in 1940.

But in 1940 the Second World War was underway and Adolf BERANEK was drafted into the German army before his son Helmut was born. Because he always had problems with authority it was no surprise when he came into conflict with his army superiors and fell into the clutches of the military »justice« organs of the Nazi dictatorship.

There is no record of his having been tried for »undermining the German military«, but the 27 year old Adolf BERANEK was reported to have died in the military prison at Torgau on the Elbe on September 30, 1942.

We can assume he came to a violent end at the infamous Fort Zinna prison, but the Salzburg police registration files just note the place and date of death (marked with a symbol indicating execution).

Adolf BERANEK’s mother and brother, his lover Emma and their son Helmut all survived the war. In liberated Austria his survivors Emma and Helmut had no legal claim to compensation as victims of Nazi wartime »justice« because there was no evidence that he had been a victim »in the struggle for a free and democratic Austria« – which was required by the 1947 victim’s compensation law.

Nothing other than the spare September 1942 death report from the Torgau military prison has ever reached Salzburg, but that tidbit stemmed from the hands of his murderers.

Recent research proves that Adolf BERANEK was sentenced to death by a court martial in Torgau and shot in a sand pit behind the Seydlitz barracks.


  • Salzburg city and state archives
  • Report Court Martial of the Substitute Division 464 (Torgau)
Author: Gert Kerschbaumer
Translation: Stan Nadel

Stumbling Stone
Laid 26.09.2018 at Salzburg, Kirchenstraße 49

<p>HIER WOHNTE<br />
JG. 1915<br />
TORGAU<br />
TOT 30.9.1942</p>
Police registration file card with the death notice

All stumbling stones at Kirchenstraße 49