Maria HANNES, née Schwarzböck, was born in Retzbach bei Oberhollabrunn in northern Lower Austria on March 13, 1878 and was baptized in the Catholic Church. She was the daughter of Anna and Johann Schwarzböck, farmers in Mitterretzbach.
On April 24, 1906 the twenty-eight year old Maria married Vinzenz Hannes (whose parents were also farmers in Mitterretzbach. But who had been living in Salzburg for some years) in the Salzburg Müllner Church.
Three days later, on April 27, 1906, the newlyweds took over the property at 72 Abfalter (now 9 Ziegelstadelstraße) in what was then the independent community of Aigen (and is now the southeastern part of the city). The couple operated the farm there together and had no children. In 1932 Maria became ill and was declared legally incompetent.
Starting in 1932 Maria HANNES was a patient in the Schloss Schernberg nursing home operated by the Sisters of Mercy in Schwarzach (in the Pongau region of Salzburg state). Anna Bertha Königsegg, the regional head of the Sisters of Mercy, protested strongly and with great courage against the Nazis’ »Euthanasia« program that was murdering tens of thousands of handicapped patients across the Third Reich.
When she was arrested by the Gestapo on April 16, 1941 the Sisters of Mercy patients lost their main defender. Thanks to the efforts of some of her co-workers 17 patients were spirited away and hidden, thereby saving their lives.
Die 63-jährige Maria HANNES was one of the 115 patients who were deported from Schernberg to the Hartheim killing center near Linz on April 21, 1941 where they were all murdered.
As with all of the victims of the Nazis’ secret »T4«1 murder program her death was not entered in the police registration files.
Her widowed husband died in Salzburg in 1955 at age 75.
1 It was called the »T4« program because its central headquarters were located at Tiergartenstraße 4 in Berlin.
Those mainly responsible for the murders of the sick in Salzburg: Dr. Friedrich Rainer as Reichsstatthalter, Dr. Oskar Hausner as head of the Gaufürsorgeamt, Dr. Leo Wolfer as head of the Landesheilanstalt, and Dr. Heinrich Wolfer as head of the hereditary biology department of the Landesheilanstalt (today the Christian Doppler Clinic).
- Salzburg City Archives
- Schloss Hartheim Learning and Memorial Center
Translation: Stan Nadel
Laid 26.09.2018 at Salzburg, Ziegelstadelstraße 9