Nikolaus FRAUNHOFER, born on November 29, 1914 in Graz, journeyman blacksmith, who had lived with his mother in Itzling since 1929 and belonged to the Christian denomination of Jehovah’s Witnesses, was already persecuted for his faith under the Austrian dictatorship.

In June 1936, he received twelve hours of arrest for distributing forbidden printed material.

Under the Nazi regime, Jehovah’s Witnesses were persecuted for refusing the Hitler salute, military service and any armament work.

Nikolaus FRAUNHOFER, who was »known« as a Jehovah’s Witness, was arrested by the Gestapo on December 5, 1938, transferred from Salzburg to Munich and back to Salzburg, and finally deported to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp on February 19, 1940, where he was murdered at the age of 25 on June 20, 1940.

His mother, who as a survivor in liberated Austria was entitled to victim welfare, died in Salzburg in 1959.

In the meantime, it has been possible to lay stumbling stones for 13 Jehovah’s Witnesses in the city of Salzburg. Thanks to the initiative of Andreas Maislinger, founder of the Gedenkdienst association, Stolpersteine were already laid for the two executed brothers Johann and Matthias Nobis in front of their birthplace in St. Georgen near Salzburg on July 19, 1997.

For the executed Jehovah’s Witness Johann Ellmauer, a memorial stone was erected in Thalgau in 2008. Other places in the province of Salzburg still lack any form of public remembrance of Jehovah’s Witnesses who perished under the Nazi regime:

– Elisabeth and Roman Franzmeier from Strobl,
– Wolfgang Fritzenwallner from Wagrain,
– Gottfried Herzog from Straßwalchen,
– Johann senior and Johann junior Renner, Maria Renner and Mathias Renner from Straßwalchen-Voglhub,
– Johann Trausner from St. Johann im Pongau (stumbling stone laid in St. Johann im Pongau on July 15, 2015) and
– Michael Wenninger from Straßwalchen-Bruckmoos.

According to this, 26 Jehovah’s Witnesses from the province of Salzburg were murdered under the Nazi regime.

It is also known that Anton BRUGGER, an Adventist who also refused military service for reasons of faith, was executed in Brandenburg-Görden on February 3, 1943.

Research: Gert Kerschbaumer
Translation: DeepL

Stumbling Stone
Laid 07.07.2011 at Salzburg, Theodebertstraße 24

All stumbling stones at Theodebertstraße 24