Adolf Aron WEISS, was born in Miava (Myjava in Slovak) in the Austro-Hungarian Komitat of Neutra (at that time part of Hungary, now in Slovakia) on July 31, 1874.
He was a Jewish businessman and from 1903 to 1938 he was the manager of the Zum Matrosen clothing store at 6 Mirabellplatz in Salzburg (Zum Matrosen was a branch of a Vienna Firm).1
Adolf WEISS was an official citizen of the City of Salzburg in accordance with the old Austrian settlement laws. It is noteworthy that he remained a practicing Jew even though he married (at age 60) his Catholic Salzburg born wife Anna in a civil ceremony of uncertain legality at the Salzburg municipal offices on November 23, 19342 – a marriage which remained childless.
Despite his Jewish practice and ancestry Adolf WEISS was not expelled from Salzburg under the Nazi regime – one of the few such exceptions.3
But Adolf Weiss lost his job with the expropriation of Zum Matrosen by the Nazis and the couple had to live off a small pension and their savings.
They continued to live at 5 Vierthalerstraße which was designated a »Judenhaus« and which had to be marked with a Jewish Star on the door. The Jewish member of the couple, now designated Adolf »Israel« Weiss by German law, had to wear the yellow Jewish Star on his clothing and to endure other indignities whenever he left the house.
His ration card stamped »Jewq only entitled him to reduced rations, and after September 1942 he wasn’t allowed to buy any meat, fish, eggs, butter, milk, fruits or vegetables. As a result, he died of malnutrition on November 6, 1944 – he was 70 years old.
The Jewish cemetery in Salzburg-Aigen had been closed by the Nazis and its gravestones had been removed and used for paving and building stones, so Adolf WEISS couldn’t be buried in accordance with his religion.
Even the names of dead Jews were to be erased in Salzburg. He was cremated and on November 11, 1944 his ashes were interred in the Salzburg Communal Cemetery’s »crypt of the forgotten« – where the ashes of the unknown, un-named, and un-mourned were kept.
His 80 year old widow Anna died in Salzburg in 1976.
1 The Zum Matrosen Vienna clothing stores owned by Leon and Julius Abrahamer at 41 Favoritenstraße/Vienna 4, and 7-9 Franz Josefs-Kai/Vienna 1, were expropriated along with the Salzburg branch in 1938. The Salzburg branch was taken over by Ludwig Schirmer from Innsbruck.
2 Civil marriages were of dubious legality in the First Austrian Republic which was dominated politically by the Christian Social Party. The Christian Socials were closely linked to the Roman Catholic Church and opposed civil marriages on principle in accordance with Roman Catholic (but also Orthodox Jewish) teachings.
The highest court in Austria declared civil marriages invalid on several occasions, but some 30,000 of them were performed between 1919 and 1938 anyway. Civil marriages were finally legalized in Austria when it came under Nazi control in 1938 and German law was applied.
3 Most of those affected the Nuremberg race laws who remained in Salzburg under the Nazi regime had either converted to Christianity or had abandoned their Judaism (though given the Nazi’s racist approach to the question of who was Jewish, neither step was necessarily sufficient to ensure survival). The only fully Jewish woman known to have survived the Nazi terror in Salzburg was Ludmilla Pippich, who was married to a non-Jewish railway worker who refused to divorce her.
Mrs. Pippich was buried in Salzburg’s Jewish cemetery in 1962. Her son Karl Pippich was designated a »Mischling 1. Grades« [a »mongrel of the 1st class«] by the Nazis and interned in a forced labor camp. After the war he converted formally to Judaism and emigrated to Israel.
- Salzburg City and Provincial archives
- Note of April 21, 2010 from the Salzburg Cemetery Administration
Translation: Stan Nadel
Laid 23.03.2012 at Salzburg, Vierthalerstraße 5
Source: www.oenb.at Marko Feingold (Salzburg Jewish Community), Gunter Demnig & Mayor Dr. Heinz Schaden (sponsor) in 2012
Photo: Salzburg city archive, photo-collection »Crypt of the forgotten«
Photo: Cemetary Administration