Johanna SPANNRING, née Hejl, was born in Siezenheim (just west of Salzburg) on May 27, 1903 and was baptized Catholic. Her husband worked for the city of Salzburg and they had no children. They had local citizenship rights in Salzburg and lived in the Elisabethvorstadt neighborhood.
On October 26, 1939 Johanna SPANNRING was was admitted as a patient in the Schloss Schernberg sanatorium maintained by the Merciful Sisters of St. Vincent de Paul in Schwarzach (in the Pongau region of Salzburg). Despite the »most courageous protest of the Church in Salzburg« (Ernst Hanisch) Schloss Schernberg was targeted by the Nazi regime’s »Euthenasia« program along with the Salzburg State Asylum.
In fact it was one woman, not the Church who displayed courage: the Catholic nun Anna Bertha Königsegg who was the Visitor (Inspector) for the Merciful Sister’s Salzburg Province. When Anna Bertha Königsegg was arrested by the Gestapo on April 16, 1941 the Schloss Schernberg patients lost their protector, though some of her co-workers were able to save 17 patients by hiding them in the woods before the Nazis came to take them all away.
The 37 year old Johanna SPANNRING was one of the 115 patients who were deported from Schloss Schernberg to the Hartheim Castle killing center near Linz on April 21, 1941 — where they were all murdered. As with all the other victims of the Nazis’ secret »T4«1 program, Johanna SPANNRING’s death was not recorded in the Salzburg police registration files.
Her widowed husband married again and died in Salzburg in 1970.
1 It was called »T4« because its Berlin headquarters were located 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 (now Christian Doppler Clinic).
- Salzburg city archives
- Schloss Hartheim Learning and Remembrance Center
Translation: Stan Nadel
Laid 18.08.2016 at Salzburg, Plainstraße 26