Klara OBERWEGER was born in Salzburg on February 7, 1907. She was the second of the five children of the Catholic couple Klara and August Oberweger. August worked for the city and the family had local citizenship rights in Salzburg.
They lived on the second floor of a city housing project at 8 Christian-Doppler-Straße in the Lehen neighborhood. Klara’s mother died in 1930 and her father died in 1934.
Klara’s brother had a fatal accident and one of her sisters left the city at age 20, leaving just the two sisters still in Salzburg by the time the Nazis took over.
Klara wasn’t able to learn a trade, instead she was shuttled between shelters and hospitals until she was finally declared legally incompetent and placed under guardianship.
It was her younger sister Karoline who was appointed to be her guardian while Klara became a long term patient in the Salzburg State Asylum in May 1939.
Klara OBERWEGER was one of 68 patients taken from the Salzburg asylum on April 16, 1941 and sent to the killing center at Hartheim Castle outside Linz where they were all murdered.
As with all the victims of the Nazis’ secret »T4«1 program the death of the 34 year old was not recorded in the Salzburg police registration files.
Klara’s sister Karoline, who had gotten married in the meantime, survived the terror years and testified in September 1946:
My sister [Klara] visited me during the Easter holidays in 1941, and when she didn’t visit me the next week as she had promised I went to Dr. Leo Wolfer [the director of the State Asylum who died in 1942] and asked him where my sister was.
I learned from him that she had been taken to some unknown place in one of the patient transports that were operating at the time.
As I was my sister’s legal guardian and she had been deported from the institution without my knowledge or agreement I got into a nasty argument with Dr. Wolfer. At which point Dr. Wolfer threatened to have me arrested by the Gestapo. After c. 8 days I got a written notice from Bernburg [in Saxon-Anhalt] informing me that my sister Klara Oberweger had died unexpectedly from an acute infection of the pancreas.
The notice asked me to inform them what should be done with her effects and that I should consider what should be done with the urn. For obvious reasons I dispensed with having the urn sent, but had them send me my sister’s effects.
When they arrived I discovered that they had been sent from Linz to Bernburg and then sent to me from there.
Widerstand und Verfolgung in Salzburg, 1934-1945, vol. 2, p. 586
1 »T4«: named after the »euthanasia« headquarters in Berlin, Tiergartenstraße 4.
Main persons 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 Christian Doppler Clinic).
- Salzburg city archives
- Schloss Hartheim Learning and Remembrance Center
Translation: Stan Nadel
Laid 14.11.2016 at Salzburg, Christian-Doppler-Straße 8