>Spuren des Anschlusses

>I have been thinking about a series of posts on a topic that may or may not interest you; traces of Tirol’s history, with particular attention to the “Anschluss” years, when the Nazis were all but invited down to take things over. When I first moved to Austria, being an American I brought with me a certain morbid fascination with the Nazis and the Holocaust. Austria and its citizens have a complicated view of those years, as they would generally like to call themselves victims of an occupying fascist regime when that was not exactly the case. (There were plenty of victims, for sure. But that’s a bit like the old story of every Frenchman calling himself a résistance fighter.) Therefor, gathering anecdotal histories from friends and others has not been productive, and this I understand. If Europeans were to come to America and ask me endless questions about the Klan and other racist organizations, I would get pretty tired of that. They don’t really want to talk about what their grandparents may or may not have done 65 years ago, and I do not judge them on this.
In my walks through town and hikes through the nearby hills, I have collected a sort of walking-tour of monuments, plaques and thoughts on that time, and this is as good a place as any to share all that. So here is, shall we say, example number one, the provincial government building entrance, at Herrengasse 1. As you see, there is an unassuming historical plaque near the door, and a bronze one to the left of the window:


“The Old University

After Emperor Leopold I founded the University of Innsbruck in 1669, which at first consisted only of a college of philosophy until three other faculties were added in 1673, the court buildings on the Herrengasse were converted into the first university facilities , along with a passage for access to to the Cathedral square.

After the university moved to the former Jesuit college in 1776, the buildings housed regional government offices.

This building was the seat of the Secret National Police (Gestapo.) For many who were interrogated and tortured here, this was the the first stop on their journey to Nazi concentration and extermination camps.”

“In memory
of the resistance fighter Robert Moser, Innsbruck. He was tortured to death by the Gestapo in this building.
His fate reminds us on all victims of the National Socialist terror in Tirol.
Such a thing must never happen again in our society.

The Province of Tirol”

There is little information on the internet about Robert Moser, although I have come across some in the local library. The resistance movement in Tirol is said to have been small.

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