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1942 – 1943, 18-20 Landstraße

The petty thief Alois G. steals a bicycle from outside a pub called “Zur Goldenen Kanone”. He is caught. Convicted as a “pest within the Volksgemeinschaft [national community]”, he is sentenced to death and executed.

Alois G., who was born in 1919 in Lower Austria, was sent to an institution for children with behavioural problems at the age of nine. Various attempts at apprenticing him failed. The sixteen year-old kept his head above water by becoming a petty thief. On the 2nd of July 1942 he fled from the hospital in Schärding and made his way to Linz. On his arrival there he looked for a bicycle so that he could cycle home to his mother in the Weinviertel. He was caught trying to steal one.

On the 18th of December 1942 G. was charged with being a “dangerous professional criminal”: “since his earliest youth he has shown that he has a deep-rooted and ineradicable propensity to make his living not by honest labour but by theft. His drive for freedom and his energy in committing punishable offences (thefts of the most serious kind) to that end is unbridled. … All in all G. represents the typical dangerous, habitual offender who is damaging to the whole community and whose complete eradication from that community appears to be irrefutably demanded in the interests of its security”.

Despite the vehemence of the accusation, the deputy public prosecutor demanded “only” seven years imprisonment for G. However, the judge, Ferdinand Eypeltauer, sentenced him to death. The sentence was carried out on the 13th of April 1943 in Vienna.