Heinrich POSPISCHIL was born in Bürmoos, in the Salzburg Crown Land of Austria-Hungary (26 km north of Salzburg city), on July 2, 1903 and was probably the youngest son of a glass blower from Ignaz Glaser’s glass factory in Bürmoos.1
What is certain is that Heinrich POSPISCHIL was, like his father, a worker in the Bürmoos glass factory and that since 1922 he lived most of the time in the city of Salzburg.
He was drafted from here into squadron No. 6 of the Austrian Army, and then worked in the private sector as a chauffeur, with several interruptions when he was in Holland – where he presumably lived with his brother Friedrich in Eindhoven.
Heinrich POSPISCHIL’s last address in the Salzburg police registration files was Scherzhauserfeldsiedlung J/1 with an end registration date of January 24, 1938.
Heinrich POSPISCHIL didn’t inform the Austrian authorities where he was going because that would have cost him his Austrian citizenship. But we know that in January 1938 he went to Spain with his similarly minded comrade Josef Riener to join the Spanish Republic’s defense against the fascist rebel forces of General Franco.
On March 13, 1938 – when Nazi rule began in Austria – he was in Madrigueras, about 250 km southeast of Madrid. There he was undergoing military training in an International Brigades battalion. The end of his life in the Spanish Civil War isn’t documented.
His comrade Josef Riener survived the Civil War and the Nazi terror that took the lives of so many of their fellow Spanish fighters.
After the liberation he reported that the 35 year old Heinrich POSPISCHIL fell in battle in Lérida, Catalonia, giving his life »For Spain’s and Austria’s Freedom« – as it says on the memorial erected in Vienna in 1988 for all the Austrians who fought and died for the Spanish Republic.
1 Heinrich’s parents were Josefa and Karl Pospischil according to the Salzburg City registration files, but neither his birth nor any baptism was ever entered in the parish registers of the Salzburg Archdiocese.
- Hans Landauer, Erich Hackl: Lexikon der österreichischen Spanienkämpfer 1936–1939, Wien 2008
- Documentation Archives of the Austrian Resistance (Spanish Archive)
- Salzburg City and State archives
Translation: Stan Nadel
Laid 21.09.2019 at Salzburg, Thomas-Bernhard-Straße