Irene DZIUB, née Szalkowska, was born in the village of Wędrogów (just outside Kowiesy which is about 60 km southwest of Warsaw) on January 18, 1918. She was a married Catholic woman who lived with her family in German occupied Warsaw before she was dragged off to perform forced labor in the German Reich. She appears in the police registration files of the »Gauhauptstadt« [Nazi terminology for regional capital] of Salzburg as having worked in the kitchen of the Wintersteiger family at 7 Kaigasse since February 21, 1944.
On October 5, 1944 the 26 year old recently widowed Irene DZIUB was dead: »poisoned with hydrochloric acid«. According to criminal police officer and SS-Untersturmführer [second lieutenant] Mayrhofer it was a »suicide« without any suspicion of foreign influence, but he also provided no suggestion of any motive for suicide.
The identity of Irene DZIUB’s husband who died in Warsaw in 1944 remains unknown. But it is well known that the 63 day long uprising of the Polish Home Army against the German occupiers ended on October 3, 1944 with a brutal massacre of Polish civilians ordered by Heinrich Himmler, the commander of the SS.
So Irene DZIUB seems to have committed suicide just when the news of the massacre might have reached Salzburg – leaving behind a child, a mother and others unknown at 75 Zlota in Warsaw. Nor do we know if her relatives were able to survive the horrors of the occupation and war. We don’t know because foreigners had no right to claim compensation or victims support pensions in liberated Austria so nobody could ever have applied even if they had survived the war.
Nor is there and point in looking for the young Pole’s grave in Salzburg, because foreign workers were buried anonymously in the Salzburg municipal cemetery in the so-called »crypt of the forgotten« like all the other victims of Nazi terror-victims the Nazis wanted to render nameless and without honor.
On the other hand, the Salzburg family Wintersteiger, for whom Irene DZIUB was forced to work in 1944, has their own family plot in the Salzburg municipal cemetery. There you can find the grave of Anton Wintersteiger who died in 1990 – he is identified in Wikipedia as the first Nazi governor of Salzburg and then Lt. Governor and member of the Reichstag until 1945 with the rank of SS-Oberführer [Senior Colonel] and proud posessor of both the Golden Party Badge and the Blood Order of the Nazi Party – and in 1966 he was also awarded the Silver Medal of Honor for Service to the Austrian Republic.
- Salzburg city archives
Translation: Stan Nadel
Laid 26.09.2018 at Salzburg, Kaigasse 7