Rupert ZANINELLI was born in Salzburg on September 14, 1923. He was baptized in the Catholic Church and was the son of a young single woman who worked as a servant in Maxglan – and who died at the age of 26 in February 1925.
Rupert was one of the patients from Salzburg nursing homes, mostly children and youths, who were sent under the Nazi regime 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.
The 17 year old Rupert ZANINELLI 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 his 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 were located at Tiergartenstraße 4.
Primarily responsible for the murderous program in Salzburg were: Dr. Friedrich Rainer as Governor, Dr. Oskar Hausner as leader of the regional health office, Dr. Leo Wolfer as director of the State Asylum (now called the Christian-Doppler-Clinic), and Dr. Heinrich Wolfer as head of the hereditary disease section of the State Asylum.
- Salzburg City Archives
- Schloss Hartheim Study and Memorial center
Translation: Stan Nadel
Laid 28.09.2017 at Salzburg, Glangasse 2