Wilhelm HÖPFLINGER was born in Gnigl [a community next to the city of Salzburg which has since been annexed to Salzburg] on January 19, 1933. Baptized Catholic, he was the youngest of the four children of a washerwoman who lived and worked in Gnigl.
Her son Willi was one of the residents of Salzburg nursing homes, mostly children and youths, who were sent under the Nazi regime to an institution belonging to the Salzburg Archdiocese’s cloister of Mariatal bei Kramsach [which is in the northeastern portion of Tyrol].
It was operated by the Salzburg order of the Merciful Sisters of St. Vincent DePaul, whose leader, Anna Bertha Königsegg protested strongly and with great courage against the Nazis’ so-called »euthanasia« program.
When the Gestapo arrested her on April 16, 1941 the patients lost their protection.
The eight year old Wilhelm HÖPFLINGER was one of 61 patients who were deported from Mariatal to the Hartheim killing center near Linz on May 23, 1941 – where they were then murdered.1
As with the deaths of the other victims of the secret »T4«2 action his death was not recorded in the Salzburg police registration records.
His mother died in Salzburg in 1979.
1 So far researchers have identified eight of these 61 victims as having come from Salzburg: Wilhelm HÖPFLINGER, Franziska SPECKINGER, Rupert ZANINELLI, Maria Kahlhammer, Rudolf Ortner, Therese Raaber, Georg Schweighofer and Katharina Wagner.
2 »T4« was the code name used for the program because its headquarters in Berlin were at Tiergartenstraße 4.
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 Memorial and Education Center
Translation: Stan Nadel
Laid 29.09.2017 at Salzburg, Eichstraße 15