Franziska SPECKINGER was born in Salzburg on February 6, 1916 and was a baptized Catholic. She was the daughter of an unmarried servant who worked in Salzburg and who died when she was only 30 years old in 1917.
Her daughter Franziska (Fanny) became a pupil at the Deaf and Dumb Institute in Salzburg-Lehen and then a patient in Eugendorf (11 km northeast of the city).
After the Nazis took over Austria the patients from the Salzburg institutions were sent to a nursing home belonging to the Mariatal Cloister – in northeastern Tyrol’s Mariatal bei Kramsach, which was part of the Salzburg archdiocese.
The home was operated by the Merciful Sisters of St. Vincent de Paul which was led in Salzburg by Anna Bertha Königsegg. Anna Bertha Königsegg bravely opposed the Nazis’ so-called »euthanasia« program to eliminate the handicapped, but when she was arrested by the Gestapo on April 16, 1941 the patients in the care of her order lost their protector.
Twenty-five year old Franziska Speckinger was one of the 61 patients who were deported from Mariatal to the Hartheim killing center near Linz on May 23, 1941 where they were murdered.1
As with all the other victims of the Nazis’ secret »T4« program2 her death was not recorded in the Salzburg police registration files.
1 Research to date has identified eight of the 61 victims as having come from the city of Salzburg: Wilhelm HÖPFLINGER, Franziska SPECKINGER, Rupert Zaninelli, Maria Kahlhammer, Rudolf Ortner, Therese Raaber, Georg Schweighofer and Katharina Wagner.
2 It was called the »T4« program because its Berlin headquarters was 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 Study and Memorial center
Translation: Stan Nadel
Laid 28.09.2017 at Salzburg, Gailenbachweg 3