Karl REITMAIER was born in Linz on June 26, 1913 and was an unmarried Catholic tailor who lived with his widowed father, a laborer, in the Itzling district of Salzburg.
As with most ordinary people little is known about his life. He was drafted into the German army in the war year of 1941 and was lat attached to the 15th company of the 143rd Mountain Riflemen Regiment.1 The Wartime Death Registry reports that the 29 year old Karl REITMAIER was sentenced to death for desertion by a court martial and was shot to death at the military shooting range in Glanegg [at the foot of the Untersberg just south of Salzburg] on June 27, 1942.2
His motives for deserting aren’t known as the court martial file has not been found so far and was presumably destroyed. What is known is that he deserted during a home visit to Salzburg, was arrested here, and was court martialed and sentenced to death here – which is why he was shot to death in Glanegg.
The survivors of deserters had no claim to victims’ aid in post-war Austria and Karl REITMAIERs father died in a rural district in the 1950s.
1 The 143rd Mountain Riflemen Regiment, which was organized in 1940 as a replacement unit assigned to the XVIII Military District with headquarters in Salzburg, belonged to the 6th Mountain Riflemen Division with combat service in France, Greece, Finland, Lapland and Norway.
2The Jehovah’s Witnesses Johann Pichler and Josef Wegscheider were shot to death at the military shooting range in Glanegg in September 1939 for refusing military service. In the course of the war others were shot there as deserters, including Walter Braunwieser and Karl Reitmaier from the city of Salzburg.
Translation: Stan Nadel
Laid 22.03.2012 at Salzburg, Plainstraße 74